Central Texas sheriff arrested the wrong man

An attorney for a Hamilton County man arrested last year on a drug charge is threatening to sue Hamilton County’s sheriff because he says the sheriff arrested the wrong man.

James Matthew Robinson was arrested in 2018 in connection with a drug trafficking investigation that led deputies to a telephone number they used to set up a heroin buy, attorney Ty Clevenger says in a letter to Sheriff Justin Caraway. That was the year Caraway was honored as Citizen of the Year.

In a letter sent Thursday to Caraway, Clevenger says Robinson has maintained for more than a year that “his arrest was the result of mistaken identity.”

Clevenger says the arrest came after Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Ray Miller used a telephone number to communicate with a “Matt Robinson” for the purpose of buying heroin, but that number is assigned to a business where Robinson never worked and is a number Robinson has never used.

“It should not be very difficult to figure out the person to whom that phone number was assigned, thus it should not be very difficult to determine whether your department arrested the wrong person,” Clevenger wrote.

Clevenger wrote in the letter that he first notified the sheriff last December about the issue, but since the issue has not yet been cleared up, Robinson cannot get a job because his background shows the felony drug arrests.

“My client is unable to find work because he has an unresolved felony drug charge on his record,” and “Meanwhile, the longer this drags out, the stronger the civil rights case against you and the county becomes,” Clevenger wrote.

No lawsuit has yet been filed, Clevenger said.

Caraway was not available for comment Friday.