The owner of a small North Texas business has been devastated by a secret DEA drug war operation that left one of his employees dead and half his business shot up beyond repair.
Craig Patty owns a small business that hauls sand using two trucks. Without his knowledge, the Drug Enforcement Administration employed one of his drivers, Lawrence Chapa, to work undercover, hauling loads of marijuana from the southern border. On one such haul, with more than a dozen law enforcement officers observing the truck, four men attempted to hijack the weed-loaded truck, shooting the driver Chapa eight times, killing him immediately. In the confusion of the attack, a Houston police officer shot a Harris County sheriff’s deputy as well.
The truck itself was sprayed with bullets to the point of becoming inoperable, but when Patty submitted the damages to his insurance company, he was informed that since the truck was used in a law-enforcement activity, they would not cover the damages. Patty was also out the service of that truck in his business, which nearly bankrupted him. Patty also had to pay to have a special team to clean the blood out of the cab of the truck.
With no apologies or money coming from the DEA, Patty has filed papers in court, demanding the DEA reimburse him over $133,000 in lost wages and repairs, and another $1.3 million for damages to himself and his family. Since the murder, they have lived in fear of retaliation from the cartels over the hijacking gone bad.
So, the next time you think the drug war doesn’t affect you because you don’t do drugs, remember Craig Patty, who didn’t do drugs and had no idea his employee was working undercover for the DEA.