There are a number of points that keep coming up in peoples’ comments – both here and on other sites such as the CBC. I’m going to provide a single, collective response to those points because I just don’t have the time to respond to everyone individually.
Desiree Was Never Convicted of the Possession Charge
That is correct. Rather than fighting it, which I couldn’t because I was caught red handed, I accepted “prop 200″. Prop 200 is an Arizona law which is aimed at “helping” rather than punishing people with a drug problem. If the person agrees to admit to the charges, admit to having a drug problem, and completes a “drug diversion” program, then their charge can be dismissed. By accepting prop 200, I was admitting that I was guilty of the possession charge, and I was admitting that I had a drug problem.
So, you see, the fact that a person is convicted of something or not doesn’t necessarily mean they are guilty or not. I am, by her my admission, guilty of the charge and guilty of being a drug addict.
Patrick’s Convictions for Perjury and False Claim of US Citizenship
Unlike me, Patrick refused to take the easy way out. After US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had been holding him in detention for 9 months and they still didn’t have any evidence that he was an alien, the immigration judge told them that if they didn’t have something to prove he’s the person they’re saying he is by the next hearing he was going to dismiss the case. That same day ICE obtained a mugshot and fingerprints from the Toronto Police for a person with the name Ricky Riess – only that mugshot and those fingerprints didn’t match Patrick’s. But rather than release Patrick, they charged him with perjury and false claim of US citizenship and transferred him to the US Marshals to fight those criminal charges. The prosecutor immediately offered Patrick a plea of time served if he plead guilty to the perjury charge. Pleading guilty to that would provide “proof” that he was an alien and absolve ICE of any responsibility. Patrick refused, even though accepting the plea agreement would have meant he would have been released from custody.
Patrick knew there was no way he would be able to win at a trial – innocence or guilt means very little when you’re one person, you’ve been incarcerated for the past year and a half and have no money left, and you’re going up against the US government. He didn’t bother. He denied the allegations but it would have been futile to put up a fight. The evidence used to support the conviction was a Canadian birth certificate and Canadian passport in the name “Richard Riess”. The passport had Patrick’s photo. The fingerprints and the mugshot from Canada were conspicuously not mentioned at the trial.
Patrick’s goal, at that point was to get out of custody and get on with his life – but he wasn’t going to admit to something he didn’t do. So, fine, if getting deported to Canada would help him get back to his life then let’s do it.
He never went to prison. A month after the 24 month sentence was issued he was transferred right back to ICE custody from the Marshals’ detention facility.
Once the US government had the perjury conviction that’s all they needed to get an order of removal from the immigration court. Again, he never fought to stay in the US and he never opposed being deported to Canada. Eventually, in August 2011 (yes, 4 years later) ICE released him. They brought him to the Canadian border (but not actually into Canada) and dropped him there.
So yeah, Patrick was convicted of perjury. And if you want to believe, under those circumstances, that it makes him a bad person that’s fine. The only thing on his mind was getting back to his child.
As I’ve said: being convicted of something and being guilty of something are not the same thing.
Desiree Did Not Get Custody of Their Son While Patrick Was Serving the Sentence for Perjury
In fact, Patrick was released from ICE custody on August 31, 2011. I went to Los Angeles and took our son to Arizona, by force and without any notice to anyone, on August 8, 2011. Three weeks before Patrick was released. And I knew ICE was in the process of releasing Patrick. It took Patrick 3 months to get our son back, through the family court. In November 2011, the California family court ordered me to immediately return our son to Patrick.
Our son was devastated that he wasn’t able to be there when Patrick finally got released from ICE custody! For years they had waited for that day. During the time Patrick was in custody they spoke on the phone at least once per week. And through all that time his friend Liz cared for his son as though he were her own. She never asked for anything in return. And then, out of the blue, on August 8, 2011 I showed up at Liz’s home, with the Sheriffs, demanding that Liz hand over my son. Our son didn’t know me from a hole in the ground. I had only gone to LA for two weekend visits in May and June.
I gained custody of our son in January 2013, when ICE went to Patrick’s home in LA and arrested him. They admitted they had received a call from his “ex-wife” claiming he was a fugitive, and he had previously been deported and had illegally re-entered the US. No criminal charges were filed (for illegal re-entry). They just stuck Patrick in another detention facility for 6 weeks then put him on a plane to Vancouver.
In March 2013 we had a hearing scheduled in the family court in Los Angeles. Patrick returned to LA for that hearing. The same two ICE agents came into the courthouse, arrested him, sent him to another detention facility for another 6 weeks then put him on another plane to Vancouver. Patrick has since remained in Vancouver.
So yes, I got custody of our son while Patrick was in “immigration detention” (which has nothing to do with having committed a criminal offence). He was in immigration detention because I called ICE and filed a false claim that he was a fugitive and had been deported and re-entered. I called ICE because I knew that was the only way I would ever get custody of our son.
Patrick’s Desire to Be In a Relationship
A lot of people keep saying things like “no woman will want to be with you after this”. Why do so many people think it is so important to be in a relationship? Honestly, Patrick really couldn’t care less if he ever “meets someone”. It’s just not a very high priority – especially at this point.
Desiree Is the One That Drew All This Attention to This Website, Not Patrick
You will notice there are a lot of people that are very angry with Patrick for putting all this information about me on this website. But before the CBC story ran, this website averaged about 30 visitors per day. Since the CBC story ran and has been picked up by others, this site’s been getting over 30,000 visitors per day. And what caused that huge increase in traffic? Me going to the media and crying that Patrick’s ruining my life!
Patrick was ruining my life at a rate of 30 visitors per day – I’m ruining my life at a rate of 30,000 visitors per day!
So why are you mad at Patrick? He created the site and he advertised it within 20 miles of my home. But I caused a huge publicity campaign that has spread all the way to Europe! Consider: if it wasn’t for my own actions, you would never have heard of this site or of me. So who’s really causing the problems now?
A well known news show that has been on the air since 1989 (Inside Edition), recently contacted Patrick. They’re sending a crew to Vancouver to interview Patrick for their show. If the segment airs it will be seen across the US and presumably in many other parts of the world. Patrick might be portrayed as the villain, people might hate him for what he’s done, but you know what – a hell of a lot of people are going to come to the website after that.
And who caused this tiny, 30 visitors per day website to explode into what it has become at the moment? Me, Desiree! That is what I do: I make rash, stupid decisions without considering the potential consequences, then I cry for people to bail me out.
I hope this helps clear up some uncertainty.