Busted with 267 pounds of pot and a DD214 that says ‘US citizen.' Should this Marine have been deported?
By: Tara Copp
1 hour ago
At his 2002 deportation hearing, Martinez said the judge told him he had a case and could probably win, but he’d have to go back to jail to wait for a hearing, which might take two years. Martinez' other option was to be deported.
NUEVO PROGRESO, Mexico ― Marine Corps Vietnam veteran Jose Maria Martinez is not your typical deported immigrant.
In February 2002, five years after Jose Maria Martinez was sentenced to federal prison on drug charges, he was to be released. But immigration agents said his paperwork was incorrect. Two weeks later, he was deported. (Jillian Angeline and Tara Copp/Military Times)
First, he doesn’t want your sympathy. He was busted in 1997 at a South Texas border checkpoint with 267 pounds of marijuana in his car.
“I screwed up, it was bad. It was so bad it pisses me off sometimes,” Martinez said.
He’s an ardent Trump supporter and cheers at the thought of a wall. In our in-person encounter, he made clear that reporters, save for Fox, were purveyors of “fake news.” His personal views on former President Barack Obama landed him in Facebook jail. He takes a hard line on those who are in the U.S. illegally.
To the day he was deported, he thought he was a U.S. citizen.
It was February 2002. He’d just completed five years in federal prison for the drug bust. He’d served his time. Martinez was ready to be released, start over. Instead, immigration agents walked into his holding cell in Oakdale, Louisiana.
“They said they were going to deport me,” Martinez said.
“I took the oath in San Antonio and got on a plane to San Diego,” he said. He was assigned as an infantryman and mortar man and deployed in 1967 to Vietnam with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. He and several other Marines started naturalization classes, Martinez said, but then they were pulled into operations.
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