Friday, June 16, 2006

Deporting the Evidence

John P. Martin, Judge wants 11 deported Hundurans back in N.J., The Star-Ledger p. 1 (June 14, 2006):
A federal [trial] judge [Joel Pisano] took the unusual step of ordering the government to locate 11 Hundurans it deported last year and arrange for their return, ruling they should not have been expelled because they might vindicate a Hudson County bar owner accused of running a human trafficking ring. ...

...

"There is no question that had the agents focused on their obligations to preserve evidence in the case, it might have been advisable for them to invoke the material witness statute, and we wouldn't be in the situation we are today," Pisano said.

...

The ... detainees from the raids -- eight women and three men -- ... told agents Medrano [the accused] did not arrange their smuggling and never pressured anyone, and that the women voluntarily lived and worked together.

Those witnesses were deported.

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