Late last year, a truck driver hauling marijuana was shot to death in Harris County, TX during a hijacking attempt. The driver, Lawrence Chapa, was working with the DEA to help bust drug traffickers coming to Texas from Mexico.
But the biggest problem, other than the dead guy, was that the owner of the truck had absolutely no idea that his driver was working undercover with the DEA to bust cartels. And he wasn't only on the hook for the entire repair bill, but he's also fearing for his family's safety.
Craig Patty hired driver Lawrence Chapa in October, 2011 as a driver for his fledgling trucking operation. About a month later, Patty got a phone call that woke him up: His driver was hauling marijuana and had been shot eight times while in the truck.
As it turns out, Chapa had been working undercover with the DEA to bust drug traffickers. The hijacking attempt resulted in a dead driver, stunned DEA agents, and thousands in damage to the truck. And because Patty's semi was used in a government operation, his insurance company won't cover the damage to the truck. Patty had to withdraw funds from his 401k in order to pay for the repairs. The truck is back on the road, and the new driver claims he is not concerned about retribution... unless he enters South Texas.
But what's even worse is that Patty now feels that his family is in danger. If the truck were carrying drugs for a month from Mexico to the US, presumably the registration and name of the trucking company is now known to the cartels. Patty's family has gone from a relatively carefree lifestyle to getting the guns whenever something slightly suspicious happens outside. Even the paperboy in an unfamiliar Ford Bronco has been a cause for alarm.
Patty has now formally complained to the DEA for $133,532 in lost wages and repairs as well as $1.3 million in in damage to the family and himself. If the DEA doesn't respond to the complaint, the next step is to sue.
The DEA is currently reviewing the complaint.
(Hat Tip to @OriginalHrishiD/IrvingWashington!)
Photo Credit: Denis Poroy / AP