A Massachusetts judge and a court officer accused of helping an illegal immigrant flee an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent waiting to take him into custody were indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury for obstruction of justice and three other counts, officials said.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling and Peter Fitzhugh, special agent in charge of the Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, announced the charges in a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Newton District Court Judge Shelley M. Richmond Joseph and the court officer, identified in court documents as Wesley MacGregor, face several charges stemming from an April 2, 2018 incident in which the pair allegedly helped Jose Medina-Perez get out of the courthouse via a back door in order to elude the ICE agent who sought Medina-Perez. They're both charged with obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting; obstruction of a federal proceeding, aiding and abetting and conspiracy to obstruct justice. MacGregor was also charged with perjury before a federal grand jury.
"It was the object of the conspiracy to corruptly attempt to obstruct, influence, and impede— Peter Wilson (@PetesWire) April 25, 2019
an official proceeding, to wit, an ICE federal removal proceeding, by preventing the ICE Officer
from taking custody... at NDC Courthouse on or about April 2,2018." @kathrynburcham pic.twitter.com/UtPwoECIkv
The judge and the court officer apparently conspired to sneak the illegal out the back way and in turn avoiding the ICE officer who was waiting to initiate an arrest.
Medina-Perez, a twice-deported illegal immigrant with a fugitive warrant for drunken driving in Pennsylvania, had been in Joseph's courtroom in order to be arraigned on drug charges, the Boston Globe previously reported.