Support swells for U.S. trucker detained in Mexico

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Updated May 7, 2012
Jabin BoganJabin Bogan

A congressman and a well-known lawyer are among those who have rallied behind an American trucker recently imprisoned in Mexico. As reported Thursday, Hotels 4 President Daniel Fuller also started the website to provide information and contacts to express support.

Demco Express driver Jabin Akeem Bogan faces charges on smuggling ammunition after he missed his exit in El Paso and wound up in a lane designated for Juarez, Chihuahua. On April 16, Bogan spoke to supervisor Dennis Mekenye by phone and told Mekenye he had asked a border official at the Bridge of the Americas for help, who instructed Bogan to drive straight on the bridge, then do a U-turn and return to Texas.

Mexican authorities instead detained Bogan several hours before imprisoning him for the 268,000 rounds of ammunition t designated for Phoenix. The 27-year-old Dallas resident has been a Demco driver for three years, Mekenye said.

Rep. Silvestre Reyes said April 27 he’s going to do what he can for Bogan.

“We need to work with the Mexicans to develop a process to deal with individuals who inadvertently enter the bridge lanes and end up in Mexico” Reyes said. The Texas Democrat added that he requested that issue be on the agenda of the next US-Mexico Interparlimentary Group meeting.

Reyes said he had contacted Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan to ask Bogan’s case to be appropriately handled in Mexico’s legal system. Carlos Spector, who has gained recognition for asylum and immigration litigation, is representing the Bogan.

While the driver could receive as much as a 30-year sentence, Mexican federal authorities contacted Spector to request documents for an appeal, which the El Paso attorney described as a “hopeful” sign, the Dallas Morning News reported. Bogan had played quarterback and served on his church’s board, according to the newspaper’s May 1 story.

Mexico’s federal district court in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, has jurisdiction over Bogan’s case, said Ryan Matheny, a U.S. Embassy deputy press attachĂ©.  The American embassy has not provided a statement regarding Bogan’s case, he added.

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Other U.S. and Mexican officials have not responded to requests for further information.

Last week, Mekenye said officials of both nations have not been provided information on getting back the company’s tractor-trailer nor the customer’s cargo.

Related stories:

Website rallies for release of U.S. trucker

More detail on driver stuck in a Mexico jail

U.S. trucker detained by Mexican authorities