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Can we end the "War on Drugs" yet?

May 3, 2015

News from Houston, Texas: read it and fear your government.

My emphasis in the final line because the idea that los Federales can highjack your equipment for a criminal purpose – without your knowledge – and leave you without recourse from your insurer is adding injury to injury.

Judge: Feds owe trucking company nothing over DEA informant murder (update)
Posted on April 28, 2015 | By Dane Schiller

Officers from multiple agencies work at the scene of a shooting in which Drug Enforcement Administration informant Lawrence Chapa, who was posing as a truck driver to infiltrate the drug world, was shot to death at Hollister near Champions Walk Lane Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, in Houston. ( James Nielsen / Chronicle )
A Houston-based federal judge ruled that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration does not owe the owner of a small Texas trucking company anything, not even the cost of repairing the bullet holes to a tractor-trailer truck that the agency used without his permission for a wild 2011 drug cartel sting that resulted in the execution-style murder of the truck’s driver, who was secretly working as a government informant.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal, which was made public late Monday, heads off a potentially embarrassing civil trial that was supposed to start early next month at the federal courthouse.

Andy Vickery, a lawyer representing trucking company, said he was floored by the ruling.

“She is basically saying you can’t sue the feds,” he said by phone.

And he emailed this reaction:

A federally deputized corporal from the Houston Police Department decides to pay your small company’s driver to drive your truck to the Mexican border, load it up with illegal drugs, and try to catch some bad guys. He knows that the driver is lying to “the owner” – although he doesn’t know your name or identity and doesn’t bother to find out. The bad guys outwit the cops. Your company’s driver is killed. Your truck is riddled with bullet holes.

Query: is our federal government liable to pay for the damages to you and your property?

Answer: Nope.

He said an appeal is already in the works.

Trucking company owner Craig Patty has said that the truck was used and damaged in a drug sting against one of Mexico’s most violent cartels without his permission and that his family lived in extreme fear they would face retaliation from the cartel, even though they had no idea what the government was doing. […]

Patty’s truck was impounded and later released to him, but was out of service for months. The DEA refused to pay for the damages, as did Patty’s insurance company, which ruled that the truck had been used in a criminal act, and therefore the damages weren’t covered.

DEA delenda est!

H.T. Paul

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