PORTLAND, Maine — Federal prosecutors have dismissed a felony charge against a Guatemalan man whose attorney contends Border Patrol agents targeted him through racial profiling.
The Border Patrol acknowledged in a court document that suspicions about several members of a family, including 31-year-old Mateo Carmelo-Bartolo, were aroused because they appeared to be of "Central-American origin" and because they spoke Spanish while shopping in Bangor.
A prosecutor wrote that pursuing a charge of re-entering the U.S. after deportation was not "in the interest of justice." The charge against Carmelo-Bartolo was formally dropped Monday.
Defense lawyer Ron Bourget called it a "good decision" and said that it's wrong to target people based on skin color or language. He said it's not the end of the road for Carmelo-Bartolo. He faces further proceedings in immigration court in Boston.