Feds Probe: Did DA in Texas County on Drug-Trafficking Route Go Easy on Suspects Who Forfeited Cash?
Federal authorities are reportedly looking into plea deals in a Texas county that happens to be located on a known drug-trafficking route along U.S. Highway 59, which leads from Mexico to Canada.
In exchange for suspects’ agreement to forfeit cash to help run Shelby County, the district attorney and other officials have repeatedly agreed to unusually lenient sentences, the Associated Press reports.
In one case, the feds stepped in to prosecute after a man accused of transporting 15 kilos of cocaine and $80,000 in cash was given probation in exchange for agreeing to forfeit the money to the DA, the article says. She did not respond to the news agency’s requests for comment, but has previously said she planned to resign at the end of the year, after more than a decade in the job, to care for her mother, who is sick.
A related class action was filed in 2008 concerning traffic stops in Tenaha that allegedly focused disproportionately on black motorists. The plaintiffs contend innocent motorists were threatened with money-laundering prosecution if they didn’t forfeit their cash.