While the government tries to grind out a conviction based on the testimony of illegals, some of his neighbors regard his prosecution as a slap in the face to their community.
Billy Grossman, a meat cutter, farrier and ranch hand, has lived on his 40 acres for the past 20 years. While he was working out of town the weekend of Nov. 11, Anna left home to be with him. Anna asked McCoy to take care of their animals and watch their property. Grossman said he trusts McCoy as much or more than any of his neighbors, although he has known him for just a few months.
“He’s a very good neighbor, always wanting to help,” Grossman said. “I knew he’d be responsible . He had offered to help. We easily chose him. This kid is different. He’s learned integrity a lot faster than a lot of people.”
Grossman said he believes that Derrick loaded up the illegals to turn them over to Border Patrol. He does not believe he would try to drive a load of illegals anywhere in exchange for money.
“For $200, what in the world would he do that for? I know he would not do that,” Grossman said. “Why didn’t they apprehend them before Derrick arrived? If they watched all this, why weren’t they apprehending them?”
Then Grossman answered his own questions.
“They’re more after Americans than they are illegals,” he said.
Ed Ashurst, a ranch manager and author who writes extensively on border issues, questions why no action was taken to apprehend the illegal border crossers before they were loaded into the young man’s vehicle.
They were about 27 miles north of the border at that point, probably walking across the open land for two days or so. He believes BP agents were aware of the presence of the illegal aliens long before McCoy encountered them. There are two manned mobile surveillance cameras stationed within a few miles of the scene, including the one that captured the encounter with McCoy on tape.
“Is that their job, arresting American citizens 30 miles north of the border?” Ashurst asked. “Why didn’t they give Derrick the benefit of the doubt?”
Ashurst said that he and other ranchers do not blame the individual agents for the actions of Border Patrol that adversely affect Americans and seem to frequently favor illegals.
“It’s not the troops’ fault, it’s the leadership,” Ashurst said. “We do not blame the agents. It’s Border Patrol leadership, section chiefs and higher-ups. The agents out here are just taking orders.”
McCoy is out on bond, due to the ruling of a federal magistrate on Wednesday, Nov. 15, who denied an assistant U.S. Attorney’s request to keep him in custody until his trial. He is due back in U.S. District Court, Tucson, on Wednesday (DEC. 13), when three of the illegal aliens are scheduled to give videotaped sworn testimony in McCoy’s case. The older man who was detained with them has already been deported to Mexico, McCoy has been told.