Skip to comments.Truck owner wants DEA to pay up after botched sting
Posted on 07/29/2012 6:54:24 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
The phone rang before sunrise. It woke Craig Patty, owner of a tiny North Texas trucking company, to vexing news about Truck 793 - a big red semi supposedly getting repairs in Houston.
"Your driver was shot in your truck," said the caller, a business colleague. "Your truck was loaded with marijuana. He was shot eight times while sitting in the cab. Do you know anything about your driver hauling marijuana?"
"What did you say?" Patty recalled asking. "Could you please repeat that?"
The truck, it turned out, had been everywhere but in the repair shop.
Commandeered by one of his drivers, who was secretly working with federal agents, the truck had been hauling marijuana from the border as part of an undercover operation. And without Patty's knowledge, the Drug Enforcement Administration was paying his driver, Lawrence Chapa, to use the truck to bust traffickers.
At least 17 hours before that early morning phone call, Chapa was shot dead in front of more than a dozen law enforcement officers - all of them taken by surprise by hijackers trying to steal the red Kenworth T600 truck and its load of pot.
n the confusion of the attack in northwest Harris County, compounded by officers in the operation not all knowing each other, a Houston policeman shot and wounded a Harris County sheriff's deputy.
But eight months later, Patty still can't get recompense from the U.S. government's decision to use his truck and employee without his permission.
His company, which hauls sand as part of hydraulic fracturing operations for oil and gas companies, was pushed to the brink of failure after the attack because the truck was knocked out of commission, he said.
Patty had only one other truck in operation......
(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...
Usually, government claims sovereign immunity to blow off suits. This, however, is outright theft by the government. I find it hard to believe there won’t be compensation if the story is as told and Patty gets a good lawyer to stick with it.
These “under cover” ops sure do work out well. Maybe they should focus on building a fence. Naw... too much work.
There are few things that the government does well, however outright theft is certainly among them.
“And without Patty’s knowledge, the Drug Enforcement Administration was paying his driver, Lawrence Chapa, to use the truck to bust traffickers.”
Another ‘good’ idea from your government ... botched.
I think there’s a fourth amendment issue here - I mean, who authorized this agency to commandeer employees and equipment that are being paid for by a private businessperson, who is unaware that their equipment’s being used in a government scheme?
Does Fast and Furious ring a bell?
If Craig Patty doesn’t shut up and become a good little subject, the all munificent government will probably inspect his business, shut him down for whatever violation is convenient and then raid his house and shoot his dogs. Cynical? You bet.
Burnish think of all the benefits this War on (some) Drugs is bringing us.
Somehow, when you rent a car you are expected to return it in good shape. This however was theft not rent, I guess laws don’t apply to the goobermint under an illegal President.
what the hel is happening with Darrell Issa’s investigation of fast and furious. is holder being held accountable?
At least his truck was not sold to the cartel.
“If Craig Patty doesnt shut up and become a good little subject, the all munificent government will probably inspect his business, shut him down for whatever violation is convenient and then raid his house and shoot his dogs. Cynical? You bet.”
Or simply send over some bureaucrat to shut his last remaining truck down for some administrative technicality.
I’m surprised this incident made the news at all. Thanks for the post.
He and his family live in fear of the Cartels now (at end of article).
Setting-up crimes makes you the criminal. There are enough real crimes being committed without L.E. creating more of them with catastrophic results.
It was considered routine.
F-ngovernment has become one word. The bastards have been running roughshod over this country ever since the, “War on Drugs” began. It is high time that this country stood up for its rights and put this f-ngovernment back in its place.
This isn’t even a dust mite on a hair of a flea on the tip of the iceberg that is government corruption.
It's enough to gag a maggot on a gut wagon.
These are the people who will be running 0bamacare.
Silly American! He actually thinks he has property rights.
The Ubermenschen in DEA will be amused by his pitiful pleas.
I do wish the above was satire.
Dollars to doughnuts the guy hasn't found a lawyer yet who is familiar with FEDERAL TAKINGS ~ and probably thinks he has to do this under the Federal Tort Claims Act ~ but that only applies when it's not "a taking" ~ so even the lawyers on the government's side probably haven't got a clue either.
Short of kidnapping a federal judge, there are a whole lot of workable solutions. First, a letter to Eric Holder demanding payment for his truck and third party damages for killing his driver.
That's your basis for going to federal district court. USPS has some lawyers who specialize in third party damages ~ might call their General Counsel and ask to talk to a fellow or gal with experience in this sort of thing. They'll probably give him a referral.
The guy who did the first, last and only ever federal eminent domain action in USPS history may still work there as well. It is rare for the federales to get into takings.
More drug war non-sense that will continue due to those of you giving it full support.
The truck wasn’t really his, since he didn’t build that company. The government provided the schools that educated his workers. The government provided the road that his trucks drove on. The government even provided the cops and bullets to shoot his driver. He needs to stop complaining and pay a higher tax rate. He’s doing less business without the lost truck and worker, but he still needs to carry his share of the load.
there is no constitution, there is no law when it comes to the US government and those in it and we, the people, don’t own anything, the government owns it all. either get used to that fact or do something about it
If this was anything like Fast & Furious, they'd be bringing drugs north and not tracking them. Of course, the government would NEVER do such a thing as allow illegal drug running to finance a political agenda. /s
Well said. The gov. is not God. And at least this time it cannot be claimed they provided the contraband!
I hope that Craig Patty starts a fund for donations. The Feds and state will draw this out to bankrupt him, or at least make it no longer worth his while. And if he starts litigation, his business will be investigated to damage his credibility.
If the DEA hadn't been using the (now deceased) driver as a spy/informant, they would have siezed the truck and claimed they'd made a big bust.
Now, for an intangible: This man's company has been tied, by virtue of a DEA operation carried out without his knowledge, to drug smuggling.
The oil patch is pretty strongly against drug use, and as a rule very conservative.
If this guy makes his living by hauling frac sand for the oil industry, the DEA has placed a stain on his company's reputation by tying it in with drug smuggling.
(Not to mention ginning up an excuse now to check every load of frac sand, which would make the ecowhackos in the administration just short of orgasmic).
The government has, through the DEA, stolen his truck, performed unauthorized use of that motor vehicle in conjunction with what would normally be considered a criminal act, causing a loss of revenue, wear and tear on and unusual damage to the vehicle, and the loss of an employee's life, as well as damaged the reputation of his company.
Compensation is due, and some people should be either prosecuted, or at the least fired, for the actions as well.
Are you serious ??? Nobody will be held accountable for F&F, Govt. will never hold its own accountable. Obama is claiming Executive Privilege so Eric Holder can stonewall forever . The only real chance at any kind of JUSTICE would be if the Mexicans whacked Holder after he is no longer AG.
I too found it interesting that they chose a truck (and driver) hauling fracking sand AND from a businessman with few means and resources to confront them.
Trucking is a service, and by using his truck while claiming it was in the shop, they stole that service. (Not to mention the wear and tear from mileage--and the shootout). That theft quickly adds up to a felony at current haulage rates.
No one wants marijuana on an oil location, either, so the truck will have to be thoroughly cleaned before he can haul anything with it, and he might want to borrow a drug sniffing dog to give it a once-over to prevent future 'discoveries' and other problems.
Maybe it was an off-the-books operation to supplement a retirement fund gone bad? Intel of routes, supply and distribution nodes, cartel contacts and inter-agency cover stories would enable freelance by insiders.