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Articles by Seth Freed Wessler

Inside the US Marshals’ Secretive, Deadly Detention Empire

They’re supposed to safeguard pretrial detainees. But America’s oldest law enforcement agency is suffering from a massive dereliction of duty.

by Seth Freed Wessler, Mother Jones

A large rectangle of red dirt on the flat expanse of West Texas’ Permian Basin reminds Sadrac Garcia every day of what his family has lost. A few months ago, he could stand on the small porch of his brother Juan’s double-wide and peer into the window of their parents’ trailer a few meters away. Until 2017, three generations of Garcias lived on these couple of acres. The family is slowly selling off the homes and the land, an attempt to move on after their father, Isac Garcia-Wislar, died in the custody of a local jail.

Sadrac, soft-spoken but direct, is tall and solidly built, with a rough goatee and a white cowboy hat. He shows me a photo of his father on this late August afternoon; they look nearly identical. “It’s very sad being here,” he tells me. Sadrac has moved to Odessa, about 20 minutes away. Yesenia Garcia, his mother, is living in Fort Worth with her daughter, Arely. But moving has not helped with moving on. “I never really stop thinking ...