The owner of a small Texas trucking company, whose semi was commandeered without his knowledge by the Drug Enforcement Administration in a botched drug sting, has petitioned the Supreme Court to hear his case for damages to his truck. He is also asking for police protection from retaliation by the Zetas Cartel who were involved in the drug sale.
His case was recently dismissed by a federal appeals court in New Orleans leaving the Supreme Court as his last option.
Read the full story: DEA, insurance won't pay for truck damaged in drug sting.
During the 2011 incident in Houston, not only was Craig Patty's truck damaged but his driver, Lawrence Chapa – a confidential informant for the DEA – was killed and a sheriff's deputy was shot and wounded by a plainclothes Houston Police officer. Four men were convicted in Chapa's death.
Patty is seeking up to $6.4 million in damages but stated on several occasions that he was more interested in letting the public know about how the DEA operates – without regard for citizens' property and rights, he says. Many of the documents surrounding the case were sealed from public view. He is also seeking police protection as the drug cartel may believe he was in on the raid and could seek vengeance.
Lower courts have so far sided with the government arguing that federal agents acted within their rights to use discretionary action during their operations and this includes placing a confidential informant in the driver's seat of truck without the owner's permission or knowledge and not having to pay for damages to the truck.