The reputed founder and president of the Texas Mexican Mafia has sued the warden of Supermax in Florence and the U.S. prison system claiming he has been held for 22 years in solitary confinement on false pretenses.
The civil lawsuit was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Denver on behalf of Heriberto “Herb” Huerta by Texas attorney Jerold Friedman. It claims that Huerta has been held on false claims of drug abuse and for his own protection.
The lawsuit names as defendants the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons; FBI agent Martin Martinez; John Oliver, warden of the Administrative Maximum U.S. Penitentiary (known as Supermax) in Florence; and other Supermax employees.
Huerta is seeking a total of $4.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages. He also is requesting a judge order that he be placed in general population.
Huerta has been held in isolation since 1994 without due process, his civil lawsuit says. Authorities have fabricated evidence against him and retaliated against him, the lawsuit says.
Huerta, serving a life prison sentence for racketeering, is the president of Mexikanemi (Texas Mexican Mafia), which was founded in San Antonio in 1984, according to Texas media reports.
Huerta was at the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kan. in May of 1994 when he was transferred from a general population cell block to the Special Housing Unit. Huerta was sent to the unit, where offenders are punished for prison violations, after a confidential informant said reported a threat on Huerta’s life.
Prison Lt. E. Pierce allegedly told Huerta at the time that he knew the threat was false and that “top government officials” in Washington, D.C., wanted him locked down, the lawsuit says.
Six months later Huerta was transferred to the U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, Ill., after he allegedly used illegal drugs. That lawsuit says that was a false claim. On March 15, 1995, Huerta was transferred to Florence.
Authorities kept Huerta mostly in isolation without a placement hearing “to punish and torture him” ever since then even though Huerta has passed monthly urine tests for drugs. Huerta also claims that he was falsely accused of money laundering through his commissary account, the lawsuit says.
Huerta, a “model prisoner,” has participated in all programs available to him, but has never been placed in a step-down program that would lead to his placement in general population, the lawsuit says.
Thanks to Kirk Mitchell.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
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