I learned today more about the U.S. truck driver who mistakenly drove into Mexico with a load of ammunition. Learned by reading news reports.
Diane and I woke up this morning at the TA truck stop in Eloy, Ariz., where we spent the night. We are on a run from Texas to California. We made a fuel stop in Eloy, showered, use the RV dump station, got the truck washed and bought a root beer float before leaving.
As Diane drove, I continued reading everything I could find about Demco Express employee Jabin Akeem Bogan. I have no knowledge of this story beyond the news reports. For whatever reason, the story of this U.S. truck driver who now sits in a Mexican jail and has no attorney has captured my interest.
Rather than restate the details, I’ll post links to the news stories here. While this blog entry is dated April 22, I will maintain continuity by adding links to subsequent news stories and my comments in this space as they develop.
4/17/12: 268k rounds of ammo seizure leads to arrest or U.S. truck driver in Juarez
4/19/12: Boss: driver took wrong turn into Juarez with ammo
4/20/12: Trucker in ammo case taken to Mexico City
4/23/12: Ex-ATF agent: Ammo load should have been stopped
4/23/12: Mexico will press charges against U.S. trucker in ammo case
4/24/12: Mother of Dallas trucker in Mexico jail fights for son’s return
4/24/12: Trucker will face anti-gun charges in Mexico
4/24/12: US truck driver that took ammo into Mexico not charged at this time
4/26/12: Blog entry by Mexico Trucker Online
4/27/12: Trucker nabbed in Mexico with ammo is charged
4/28/12: Family demands Mexico free jailed Irvine trucker
4/29/12: Murder of 15 year old by Border Patrol could have profound effect on US trucker’s case
The biggest question I have is, why has this man’s employer not hired an attorney to defend his employee and help get him back into the USA? Depending on the charge, he faces up 35 years in prison if convicted. He was employed by Demco, driving their truck, serving their customers, helping the company make money. Now, in his hour of need, the company seems to be leaving him alone in Mexican jails without representation.
The man’s plight sticks in my mind. He is alone and being transferred from one jail to another. He is being interrogated by Mexican federal authorities. I cannot imagine what his thoughts and feelings must be at this time. What would go through your mind if it was you? What would it be like to ponder your circumstances for an hour, and then do so again six hours later in the same cell, and again several days later? No phone. No freedom. Little if any contact with the outside world. He needs an attorney to make his case and does not have one. That is not right.
According to the 4/24/12 El Paso Times story, Dennis Mekenye is the owner of Arlington-based Demco Transportation, Inc. and Bogan’s boss. He is reported to have said that said that Bogan has no attorney representing him in Mexico at this time and “[Bogan’s] mom is not in an (economic) position to hire anybody.”
The trucking company name is reported elsewhere as Demco Express and I do not know which is correct or if both are correct, but Mekenye is consistently named as a person in authority at the company and Bogan’s boss. It shocks and troubles me that Demco is not hiring an attorney to represent their driver.
It seems clear from the news reports that this was a legitimate shipment destined for Arizona and that Bogan’s entry into Mexico with an ammunition laden truck was accidental, not intentional. It is absolutely clear that MeKenye believes that to be the case.
So why is it that MeKenye is leaving their driver without representation in a Mexico jail? Since Bogan’s mother lacks the means to hire an attorney (and even if she had the means), why is Demco not doing so?
ABC News reported on 4/27/12 that Bogan’s mother said that an El Paso based lawyer had been hired to represent Bogan. It was not clear from the report who hired him or what exactly he was hired to do.