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Jailed Benson pastor too sick to stay in jail, family says

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Pastor Jose Armando, 48, is facing deportation. His family claims the case against him is a misunderstanding. Pastor Jose Armando, 48, is facing deportation. His family claims the case against him is a misunderstanding.
Relatives of an undocumented church pastor in Benson, who is facing deportation, say he is took sick to stay in jail.

Jose Armando was taken away by immigration officials in June.  The 48-year-old Honduras native, who is in the United States illegally, was diagnosed with diabetes while incarcerated and his family says he had to have a toe amputated.

Federal prosecutors accused Armando of making false statements when he applied for a temporary work permit in 2010. Prosecutors said he lied about a drug conviction from 1994. He was then convicted of possession for sale of a controlled substance in Los Angeles.

His family claims a woman he hired to fill out the paperwork misled him.

Armando is being held in the Mecklenburg County jail's medical unit.  Family went to visit last week.  They say he's not doing well and is being feed a poor diet of potatoes, rice and bread, which they say is unfit for a diabetic.

"They're kind of, trying to do some damage to him because if a professional was handling this case, he wouldn't advise him to eat that food," his stepson Sergio Tabora said.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Julia Rush told WNCN those claims of poor medical treatment are not true, saying "He is housed in the medical unit and is receiving continuous care.  All appropriate medical protocols are being followed, including diet.  Due to privacy laws I can't speak to his health."

Armando's wife is pleading for her husband's return.

"This nation, this country, is against abuse and this is abusing our family," she told WNCN in Spanish.  "They're abusing our feelings.  They're abusing our integrity as a family."

Armando's scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Raleigh on August 18.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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