Unwitting Victim Of Police Identity Theft Conspiracy!
Southern Oregon restaurateur Miguel Espinoza received an unpleasant surprise on August 1, 2002. Mr. Espinoza was informed that during a routine examination of his liquor license, Medford City Council obtained a copy of his criminal record, stating Mr. Espinoza had been convicted of the crime of criminally negligent homicide three months before.
Obviously someone had made a terrible mistake, Mr. Espinoza thought. Clueless as to the cause for such a mix up, Mr. Espinoza appeared before City Council in an effort to get things straightened out.
City Council informed Mr. Espinoza that his liquor license had been revoked. The local newspaper printed articles referring to Mr. Espinoza as a convicted killer. Facing financial ruin, Mr. Espinoza had to sell his formerly popular eatery in Medford. The clientele disappeared. No one wanted to eat at his restaurant anymore. No one wanted to believe the police had made a mistake. Even close family members became convinced that he was guilty – it was all right there on paper.
Lt. Mike Moran of the Medford Police Department, present at the August 1st City Council meeting, found it “apparent that there was some discrepancy with the information that had been put on Mr. Espinoza’s record … met with Mr. Espinoza and his wife after the City Council meeting, and found that they had contacted an attorney but had not contacted the police in regards to this erroneous information … fearful in part because of the information being wrongfully attributed to Mr. Espinoza in the first place.”
Upon examination of court records, it was discovered that Mr. Espinoza’s criminal record had in fact been replaced by that of convicted felon Franklin Eugene Crews. Mr. Espinoza’s criminal history shows that he has the same FPN as that which appears on the conviction record of Franklin Eugene Crews – 5263026.
By the time local authorities acknowledged this mistake however, it was too late for apologies. The damage to Mr. Espinoza’s family, business and reputation had been done.