Operation What Private Property?
Photo credit: James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle
Early one morning in 2012, Craig Patty got the weirdest phone call of his life. The owner of a small North Texas trucking company with only two trucks, Patty found himself being informed by a business partner that one of his drivers, hired only five weeks before, had been shot dead inside one of the trucks, which had been loaded up with with enough marijuana to, well, fill a truck. Stunned, Patty tried to figure out how he could have fallen in with drug dealers—but he hadn’t. He had fallen in with an undercover DEA agent, who had been using the truck to try to bust smugglers.
The operation had gone spectacularly awry when said smugglers attempted to hijack the truck and its shipment, killing the undercover operative in a hail of bullets in full view of a dozen federal agents and local police. The officers involved, not all of whom knew each other, even ended up shooting at each other in the confusion, with one Houston cop wounding a sheriff’s deputy.
A lawsuit brought by Patty against the DEA for more than $1.3 million was dismissed in 2015, finding that the DEA was not even liable for his bullet-riddled truck. The decision is currently being appealed.
Somehow this whole scenario just seems wrong to me. I realize that law officials have a job to do, but I do believe that they should take responsibility when things go wrong because of their mistake. Just my opinion...
Coffee out on the patio this morning.