Ruling: Lubbock Immigration Officer Cannot Be Held In Contempt

A Lubbock-based Deportation Officer with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement cannot be held in contempt of court in a Bailey County criminal case.
LUBBOCK, TX -- A Lubbock-based Deportation Officer with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement cannot be held in contempt of court in a Bailey County criminal case. Last week United States District Court Judge Sam Cummings in Lubbock overruled the contempt order issued by a State District Court Judge.

Earlier this year officer Jesse Garcia was called to testify in a hearing in the case of Texas v. Carlos Herman Garcia. Court records say in September of 2012, Agent Jesse Garcia entered Carlos Garcia’s home with permission to look for an “immigration fugitive.” Carlos Garcia was later charged with Tampering with Evidence, a third degree felony, in late 2012.

In the Bailey County criminal case, Carlos Garcia accused Muleshoe Police and agent Jesse Garcia of violating his federal constitutional rights. The 287th District Court scheduled a hearing in August to determine the admissibility of evidence. Agent Garcia, following orders from his boss, refused to give up the names of other federal agents who were with him at Carlos Garcia’s home.

Federal court records say, “As a result of Officer Garcia’s refusal to answer the question(s), the State District Court held Officer Garcia in contempt of court and indicated that it would decide at a later point whether to issue a summons for the arrest of Officer Garcia.”

The federal judge ruled that Agent Garcia “properly declined to answer the question.” The federal judge also ruled that the State District Court Judge had no jurisdiction to hold a federal officer in contempt.


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