Magistrate D. Thomas Ferraro
Federal Prosecutor: Eric Markovich
Samaritans: Charles Burkholder, his wife and daughter Chris, Sara Busey
Observers: 10 University of Colorado students; 5 students from Notre Dame, Baltimore, on a mission awareness trip, guided by 2 Catholic women from Douglas, AZ.
The afternoon began prior to court with OS lawyer Mark Willimann telling us about testifying in San Francisco last week in opposition to dog sniffing dogs at Border Patrol check points. Magistrate Ferraro cut short his story and the trial of 56 migrants began. Within 60 minutes, Ferraro dismissed 4 for language difficulties and sentenced the rest to 3660 days in prison at a cost to U.S. taxpayers of $589,260. Seven migrants were from Guatemala, one each from Honduras and El Salvador and the rest from Mexico.
Rigoberto Espinosa-Sosa (16-22669M) spoke of a medical problem and Ferraro asked if it affected his understanding at the hearing. He urged Rigobeto to put in writing his request for high blood pressure treatment when he reached the prison.
Jacinto Camacho-Dominguez (16-22693M) apologized for entering the U.S. illegally. He came only to make money to help his wife in Guatemala who has cancer. Crying, he asked the judge for leniency. Ferraro explained he had no such authority.
Written requests to serve in specific prisons were made, but not shared with us. Ferraro said it is the OS secretary that makes such requests so he didn’t need to know about them.
As usual, we Samaritans shared information with other observers and enjoyed the exchange of ideas. Well worth the afternoon!