The Houston Chronicle reports that the owner of a very small Texas trucking company had one of his trucks commandeered by the DEA, with whom one of his drivers was secretly corroborating, to haul marijuana from the border in an undercover drug enforcement operation. The owner, Craig Patty, says that the truck was taken and used without his knowledge or consent.
Unfortunately, Mr. Patty now no longer has a driver or a truck:
Commandeered by one of his drivers, who was secretly working with federal agents, the truck had been hauling marijuana from the border as part of an undercover operation. And without Patty’s knowledge, the Drug Enforcement Administration was paying his driver, Lawrence Chapa, to use the truck to bust traffickers.
At least 17 hours before that early morning phone call, Chapa was shot dead in front of more than a dozen law enforcement officers - all of them taken by surprise by hijackers trying to steal the red Kenworth T600 truck and its load of pot.
It’s been eight months since the incident, and Patty has yet to receive compensation. His insurance company unfortunately doesn’t cover “DEA drug trafficking violence” on his policy, and the government has yet to make him whole:
In documents shared with the Houston Chronicle, he is demanding that the DEA pay $133,532 in repairs and lost wages over the bullet-sprayed truck, and $1.3 million more for the damage to himself and his family, who fear retaliation by a drug cartel over the bungled narcotics sting.
So not only has the DEA done a significant amount of damage to Patty’s business assets, they’ve also made him and his family accessories to an undercover drug operation that may put their lives at risk. It’s not hard to understand why Patty would be frustrated under the circumstances:
"How am I — a small businessman, father of three, American Joe from Texas — supposed to make a claim against a federal agency that has conveniently shrouded itself behind a red, white and blue cloak of confidentiality and secrecy?"
Answer: you do the best you can, Mr. Patty. And you hope and pray that somebody in a government office somewhere decides that you deserve to be made whole. Unfortunately, these things don’t always work out for the best.
h/t Simple Justice
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