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El Paso Man Prepares for Death in Jail, Says Family

Nov 3rd, 2011 | Category: El Paso County, Lead Article

The Gomez family joined demonstrators at Occupy El Paso because they said that their father, a a U.S. citizen,  is not receiving necessary treatment for his kidney condition and has lost some 100 pounds while in the Otero County Jail. According to he U.S. Marshals, Samuel Gomez is getting all the care he needs. Texas Jail Project asks the Gomez family to email info@texasjailproject.org  to let us know what is happening since they demonstrated.

Posted: 11/02/2011 12:00:00 AM MDT

The family of an El Paso-area man is demanding he get the medical care they say he needs but is not receiving in jail.

Samuel Gomez, 47, has been in custody for more than nine months as a U.S. Marshals Service prisoner at the Otero County Prison in Chaparral, N.M., awaiting trial on drug conspiracy charges.

On Tuesday, members the Gomez family joined Occupy El Paso demonstrators at San Jacinto Plaza to bring attention to what they say are bad conditions at the Otero County Prison.

“We don’t want him to get released or anything. We want him to the get the medical attention he deserves,” his daughter Perla Gomez said. “He is a U.S. citizen and they haven’t proven anything” in court.

Samuel Gomez is a father of five and owns a diesel repair business in Canutillo. He is accused of taking part in drug distribution conspiracy. It is not uncommon for inmates facing charges in U.S. District Court in El Paso to be housed in Otero County Prison.

“My father is just a hardworking person,” Perla Gomez said. “They are trying to get him to accept a plea bargain, but he won’t because he is innocent.”

Perla Gomez said her father has kidney illness, fainting spells and other medical problems and has lost 100 pounds since his arrest in late January. He has telephoned his family crying in pain, she said.

“My father called us basically saying his goodbyes to us because he said he isn’t going to get the attention he needs,” Perla Gomez said. She said the treatment her father has received was inadequate.

David Campbell, a supervisor with the U.S. Marshals Service, said he has spoken with the Gomez family and is aware of their concerns. Campbell could not discuss specifics because of health privacy laws but said that Samuel Gomez is receiving treatment. “I don’t know what are the conversations he has had with his family,” Campbell said. “I can certainly respond to you that he is receiving medical treatment based on what the physicians are recommending.”

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