Citizen Jailed for Two Years as ‘Alien,’ He Says

     HARTFORD (CN) – Immigration officials held a U.S. citizen in jail for 2 years as an “alien,” though it knew or should have known he was legal, the man claims in court.
     Wayne Gray was born in the Bahamas and came to the United States in May 1982 when he was 8 years old. He became a U.S. citizen in 1990, he says in his July 1 federal complaint.
     He was 16 years old when he was naturalized.
     He sued the United States and three immigration officers – Jay Weselmann, Thomas O’Connell, and Bryan Moultis.
     Weselmann was then the director of the Durham, N.C. ICE field office.
     Moultis learned from ICE records that Gray had been a U.S. citizen since Jan. 19, 1990, but he and O’Connell nonetheless decided he was “an alien subject to removal and refused to release him, and held him in custody for 744 days,” Gray says in the complaint.
     He was accused of “illegal re-entry.”
     He was arrested on Aug. 21, 2012 and held in a federal prison in Pamlico, N.C. until Sept. 4, 2014.
     Gray adds: “No ICE official ever apologized to him for wrongfully arresting and detaining him.”
     “The records available to the defendants which are in their exclusive possession and control at all times sufficiently allowed them to properly determine that plaintiff was a U.S. citizen as of the time he was charged and imprisoned,” the complaint states.
     Gray seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, malicious prosecution, federal torts, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
     He is represented by Nitor Egbarin of Hartford.

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