Regional
5:04 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

El Paso Area Man Sues Ford; Says Company Is To Blame For His False Drug Arrest

An El Paso area man who became an unwitting drug mule for Mexican drug traffickers is suing Ford Motor Co., alleging the auto maker freely gave away the car key codes that allowed the traffickers to plant marijuana in his trunk.

An FBI affidavit from 2011 says traffickers used a locksmith to make copies of their victims' car keys.

Ricardo Magallanes was convicted of drug trafficking in May 2011 and faced more than three years in prison when he was cleared. His attorney, Louis Lopez, says Ford has no countermeasures to keep criminals from gaining access to keys.

In court documents, Ford says the owner's manual said replacement keys were available through Ford dealerships and denies Magallanes wasn't warned the code information could be given to third parties.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.