In Massachusetts, a judge has come under fire after she allowed an undocumented immigrant to evade ICE detention. Because she helped the immigrant flee the perusal of the federal agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, she was indicted by a federal grand jury of obstruction of justice and three other counts. Who is the judge? It is Newton District Court Judge Shelley M. Richmond Joseph and the court officers who assisted her Wesley MacGregor were both arrested.

The pair helped undocumented immigrant Jose Medina-Perez escape the courthouse by a back door when they knew that ICE agents were waiting out front to arrest him. The incident occurred on April 2, 2018, and they seemed to be very much intentional in their efforts to have Medina-Perez escape the handcuffs of ICE.

“This case is about the rule of law. The allegations in today’s indictment involve obstruction by a sitting judge, that is intentional interference with the enforcement of federal law, and that is a crime,” United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said.

On Thursday, both Joseph and MacGregor were slammed with the obstruction of justice charge as well as aiding and abetting; obstruction of federal proceeding, aiding and abetting and conspiracy to obstruct justice. MacGregor also got slammed with a perjury charge after he stood before the federal grand jury.

Since the indictment, Joseph was suspended without pay. MacGregor also appeared in court on Thursday and pleaded not guilty on all counts, along with the judge. Their next court appearance has not been set with a date.

“As public servants, all of the officers in the court make a promise. A promise to serve the people’s interests above all else. Today we know this promise has been broken,” said Peter Fitzberg (pictured), a special agent with the Homeland Security Investigations in Boston. He was in charge of leading this investigation.

Medina-Perez was not exactly an innocent man. He was a fugitive who had twice been deported back to Mexico. He was wanted for a drunk driving charge in Pennsylvania when Joseph and MacGregor helped him escape ICE detention last April.

ICE had submitted a detainer for Medina-Perez. They wrote up the request and were asking that the court hand him over for a 48-hour hold before his deportation. An ICE agent was waiting in the courtroom lobby to obtain Medina-Perez when the judge helped him escape out the back door without detection.

There was evidence that during Medina-Perez’s court hearing, the judge knew he was wanted by ICE. The defendant’s lawyer then told the judge, “ICE will pick him up if he walks out the front door. But I think the best thing for us to do is clear the fugitive issue and release him on a personal, and hope that he can avoid ICE. That’s the best I can do.”

“What if we detain him?” the judge asked before she demanded the courtroom recording device be turned off.

Minutes later the undocumented immigrant snuck out the back door and escaped ICE.