Shelley M. Richmond Joseph, 51, of Natick, who was appointed as a Massachusetts District Court Judge in November 2017, and Wesley MacGregor, 56, of Watertown, a former Trial Court Officer since 1993, were indicted on Thursday in federal court in Boston on obstruction of justice charges for preventing an ICE Officer from taking custody of an alien defendant.
Joseph and MacGregor were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and two counts of obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting. MacGregor was also charged with one count of perjury.
“This case is about the rule of law,” explained United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.
“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.”
“We cannot pick and choose the federal laws we follow, or use our personal views to justify violating the law.”
“Everyone in the justice system, not just judges, but law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and defense counsel, should be held to a higher standard.”
“The people of Massachusetts expect that, just like they expect judges to be fair, impartial and to follow the law themselves.”
(U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling announced the charges against Newton District Court Judge Shelley M. Richmond Joseph on Thursday. Former court Officer Wesley MacGregor was also charged. Courtesy of WPRI and YouTube. Posted on Apr 25, 2019.)
“When we as officers of the law are confronted with an abuse within our system, we take those allegations seriously,” added Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Boston.
“Any conduct which severs the underlying trust that the citizens of this Commonwealth place in those who hold positions of power and authority is a stain on all who swear an oath to protect and serve, with honor and integrity.”
“The people of this country deserve nothing less than to know that their appointed and elected representatives are working on their behalf, while adhering to and enforcing the rule of law, not a personal agenda.”
“The special agents of Homeland Security Investigations remain committed to upholding our promise to the public, without compromise.”
“The actions of the judge in this incident are a detriment to the rule of law and highly offensive to the law enforcement officers of ICE who swear an oath to uphold our nation’s immigration laws,” said Todd M. Lyons, Acting Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, Boston.
“In order for our criminal justice system to work fairly for all people, it must be protected against judicial officials who would seek to replace the implementation of our laws with their own ideological views or politically-driven agenda.”
“I would also like to thank U.S. Attorney Lelling for his local leadership and his continuous and faithful support of the ERO law enforcement mission.”
Newton Police arrested and charged an alien defendant under Massachusetts General Law with being a fugitive from justice and narcotics possession.
According to court documents, on March 30, 2018, further investigation revealed that the defendant had twice been deported from the United States, the first occurring in 2003 and the second occasion in 2007, and that a federal order had been issued prohibiting the defendant from entering the U.S. until 2027.
ICE issued a Federal Immigration Detainer and Warrant of Removal, which stated that the defendant was subject to removal from the United States, after learning of the defendant’s arrest.
US Attorney Andrew Lelling announced Federal charges against Newton Judge Shelley M. Richmond Joseph. pic.twitter.com/AbvyFoIz8r
— Jenna Fisher (@ReporterJenna) April 25, 2019