September 30, 2015
Contact: Diana Apodaca
Phone Number: (915) 832-6000
Federal Court In New Mexico Dismisses Drug Addict’s Lawsuit Against United States And DEA Agents
ALBUQUERQUE - The U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico issued orders today dismissing a lawsuit filed by a drug addict against the United States and five DEA agents and supervisors.
Plaintiff Aaron Romero filed his lawsuit on July14, 2014, in which he alleged that undercover DEA agents wrongfully supplied him with cocaine base, more commonly known as crack, thus “reigniting” his previous addiction to crack. Romero sought $8,500,000.00 in damages from the United States, the DEA agents and their supervisors.
In a 16-page opinion, the court dismissed Romero’s claims against the United States after finding that the law does not allow a person to recover when their own wrongful conduct was the cause of his or her injuries. The court concluded that because Romero admitted that his own illegal use of drugs was the cause of his injuries, he could not hold others, including the United States, responsible for his injuries.
In a separate 36-page opinion, the court also dismissed claims that DEA agents intentionally targeted Romero to “stack” drug-related charges against him. It also dismissed the claims against the agents’ supervisors. The court ruled that Romero’s suit was barred by his acknowledgement that the government acted for a legitimate investigative purpose in fighting drug crime.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ruth F. Keegan and Karen F. Grohman represented the United States in this civil litigation.