Border Checkpoint Sends Wrong El Paso Man To Jail
A case of mistaken identity left an El Paso man locked up in the Alamogordo jail for a week.
Juan Carlos Lerma was headed from El Paso to New Mexico to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family when he got to the Border Patrol checkpoint near Alamogordo.
The routine "stop 'n go" that pretty much everyone in El Paso has been through a zillion times wasn't so routine this time.
During the usual questioning, Lerma's car was searched while Border Patrol agents ran his driver license and his name matched another man wanted for a parole violation in Austin.
A series of weird coincidences followed ... not only did the names match but so did the birthdays and the last 4 digits of each mans social security number were the same.
However, the birthdays were several years apart and the social security digits were not in the same sequence. Each totally different.
What Made Border Patrol Agents Think They Had A Wanted Man?
Border Patrol agents insisted that Lerma's fingerprints matched and had him carted off to jail with Lerma protesting the entire time that they needed to double check their info.
At the Alamogordo jail, he continued to try and get law enforcement to redo the fingerprints and double check all the other stuff. Lerma told KFOX:
The sheriff officer that took me to jail came [Friday] and fingerprinted me again. I'm like, dude seriously? It took you seven days later to come back and fingerprint me when I was telling you double double-check everything that same day?
What Did The Alamogordo Sheriff Have To Say?
So much for a joyful Thanksgiving. Lerma was finally released and a possible lawsuit is in the works.
Meanwhile, KFOX says the sheriff in Alamogordo hasn't replied to any of their emails or returned their phone calls.
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