McCoy Still Haunted By Border Patrol Failure

Derrick McCoy with Coni Hargrave outside U.S. District Courthouse, Tucson. [Photo by Huey Freeman]

Derrick McCoy is a hardworking young man with numerous skills including a welding certificate. He has lots of references from former employers and possesses a reputation of being a very hard worker who is always on time. He has passed drug tests and has no history of substance abuse. He had no felony charges, arrests or convictions prior to November 11, 2017.

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However since that day, Derrick’s life has been miserable due to what appears to be harassment from the U.S. Border Patrol, which is said to be embarrassed over the Agency’s failed attempt to put Derrick in prison and make him an example to his neighbors and residents of southern Arizona.

On November 11, 2017, Derick was house sitting for some friends in a rural area near Apache, AZ, and about 10 miles south of Rodeo, NM, when four illegal aliens walked onto the property he was responsible for. He confronted the aliens who acted aggressive, and Derrick, who felt threatened, let them know he was armed, but he did not threaten them. After a short conversation, both parties relaxed, and he loaded them in his small SUV telling them he would take them to get help and get them off of the property. He knew Border Patrol agents were nearby and that they had been called.

After going less than a mile down the road, a Border Patrol vehicle approached, and Derrick stopped, and the Border Patrol agents arrested him, telling him he would be taken to Douglas for questioning and then turned loose.

In Douglas he was put in solitary confinement except for a short spell when he was questioned by several agents. After 24 hours Derrick was loaded on a bus with a large group of illegal aliens and taken to Tucson. Derrick was handcuffed and shackled, but the aliens were not.

On the afternoon of November 13, Derrick was taken to Federal court in Tucson and charged with four counts of felony smuggling. Then late at night of the 13th, he was transported in handcuffs and shackles to the Federal lock up in Florence where he was kept until 3:00 a.m. the morning of November 15, when he was transported in handcuffs and shackles back to Tucson.

On November 15, the court assigned Derrick a pre-trial officer; he was given a drug test, and then released into the custody of the people he lives with. His pre-trial officer drove from Tucson to Derrick’s home, 40 miles east of Douglas, to inspect his living arrangement, looking for drugs, guns, or anything suspicious. Nothing was found to be amiss.

On December 7, Derrick’s court-appointed attorney advised him to accept a plea agreement, which would mean several years in a Federal prison. Derrick told his attorney that he was innocent and would not plea. Subsequently the attorney went to work and asked for and received an opportunity to question all four of the illegal aliens separately.

Individually all four aliens told Derrick’s attorney that when a Border Patrol vehicle approached Derrick’s vehicle he immediately applied the brakes and stopped. The Border Patrol said he tried to flee the scene. All four aliens denied that Derrick offered to transport them to Tucson if they would pay him cash money for his services. The Border Patrol said he in fact did offer to transport them north for a cash payment. The aliens’ testimony completely agreed with Derrick’s story and disagreed with the Border Patrol’s accusation.

On December 13, the assistant US attorney told the judge that he did not want to proceed with the case stating that the illegal aliens’ testimony had destroyed the Border Patrol’s position. The charges were dropped and the case dismissed. Immediately the judge issued a written statement ordering the Border Patrol to quickly return Derrick’s personal affects: wallet, driver’s license, smart phone, and firearm.

It took Derrick many trips to town (80 miles each trip) to get his personal belongings. To date, his driver’s license has never been returned. The Border Patrol says that it has been lost.

On the trip to Douglas when Derrick’s firearm was returned, he had an appointment to meet a Federal agent at an office in the Federal complex at the Douglas-Agua Prieta port of entry. At the last minute Derrick received word that the agent would instead meet him at a public park near the port.

When he arrived at the park, six armed Border Patrol agents met him, handed him his firearm, and then told him that he was not allowed on Federal property. It is important to note that armed agents said this without a court order. Indeed, no Federal judge knows about the incident.

Derrick McCoy has applied for a job working on Trump’s famous border wall. The construction company wants to hire Derrick. He is qualified, and he has stellar recommendations; but the US Border Patrol keeps losing his personal information, which keeps them from completing a background check that is required by law. The construction company is being told by the Border Patrol to resubmit Derrick’s application.

When questioned about these recent events, Dion Ethell, the Patrol Agent in Charge at the Douglas border station said, “Human trafficking is a serious crime.” Derrick was not convicted of human trafficking. He went on to say that the Border Patrol did, “Not hold persons or property here for any length of time.” Where is Derrick’s driver’s license? Why did armed Border Patrol agents tell Derrick he wasn’t allowed on Federal property?

The Tucson Sector Chief has refused to comment.

One has to wonder; is Derrick allowed to go into a United States post office?

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Under the leadership of Arizona Daily Independent Editor In Chief Huey Freeman, our team of staff reporters work tirelessly to bring the latest, most accurate news to our readers.