DOWNEY (CBSLA.com) — Following a CBS2/KCAL9 inquiry, authorities say they’re now investigating whether they mistakenly took a Downey man into custody in a case of mistaken identity.
Gerber Guzman’s wife claims he’s twice been locked up in Los Angeles County Jail and he hasn’t done anything wrong.
Yanira Hernandez says six years ago her husband was jailed for a crime he was innocent of and it happened again on April 27, when he was pulled over for an expired car registration and arrested on an outstanding warrant.
“The question is ‘when’,” Yanira told CBS2/KCAL9 Tuesday. “When is he coming home?”
Hernandez’ husband is still being held.
“The thing is that they know it’s not him, but they still have him in there, and that’s what’s heartbreaking,” said Hernandez, who is eight months pregnant.
“They told us it wasn’t going to happen again, and fast-forward six years later, it happened again,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said her Guzman’s identity was stolen six years ago, and that an arrest warrant was mistakenly issued for his arrest.
She says her husband spent 16 days in L.A. County Jail on drug-related charges before his name was cleared, with the help of U.S. Marshals.
“They cannot let him go, because the U.S. Marshals are the ones that have the hold,” Hernandez said. “It’s really hard when you have kids, and you have one on the way, and your kids ask you twenty-four/seven, ‘where’s daddy’.”
CBS2/KCAL9 contacted the U.S. Marshals Office and the DEA to see why Guzman was being held.
The DEA confirmed Wednesday that they issued the warrant and said in a statement: “DEA is aware of claims that the man in custody is not the same person for whom the arrest warrant was issued. DEA takes all allegations of this nature seriously and is currently using ever resource at our disposal to address the matter.”
“I’m happy. I’m just mad it took 11 days for them to finally get something, which is a long time, but I’m glad the process is going,” Hernandez said. “The sooner he’s out the better for this family.”
CBS2/KCAL9 also put Hernandez in touch with her local congresswoman’s office, who promised Wednesday to work with the DEA to resolve the issue.