enforcement

OFIR Communications Directors' Op-Ed published

One of OFIR's founders and the current Communications Director of OFIR, Jim Ludwick wrote a great Op-Ed about why our Legislators should be looking at ways to discourage illegal immigration instead of finding even more ways to accommodate illegal aliens in our state and invite even more to come here.

 

 


 

Man gets 17 months for apartment, Quality Inn fires

Angel M. Torres-Reyna, 41, was sentenced to 17 months in prison for setting fire to his apartment and, later, a hotel room.

A 41-year-old Vancouver man was sentenced Monday in Clark County Superior Court to 17 months’ prison for setting fire first to his apartment and, three days later, to his room at the Hazel Dell Quality Inn.

Through a Spanish-language interpreter, Angel Torres-Reyna pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of second-degree arson and one count of third-degree assault in exchange for reduced charges. He was originally charged with two counts of first-degree arson and one count of third-degree assault. A first-degree arson conviction would have involved a longer prison sentence.

The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office made the plea agreement because prosecutors were uncertain they would prevail had the two arson cases been tried separately, said Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein. A plea agreement also saves the expense of a trial, or possibly two, in this case.

“It was a tactical move, and the sentence was not much less than he would have gotten in trial,” Klein said.

Seventeen months in prison is the maximum sentence for second-degree arson; a first-degree arson conviction would have added about nine to 17 months, Klein said.

Torres-Reyna also will be ordered to pay $322,312 in restitution, though many convicts are unable to pay.

When Judge Scott Collier asked Torres-Reyna if he would like to say anything before sentencing, he declined through his interpreter.

“What I’d like to hear from you is the potential harm, not just property damage, you caused,” Collier said. “When you set fire to the hotel, there were people in the hotel, firefighters. It puts them at serious risk.”

“I’m going to accept the plea agreement but a little bit begrudgingly,” the judge said.

Torres-Reyna set fire Sept. 27 to his apartment at Willowbrook Apartments on Northeast 51st Street in the Truman neighborhood. Two days later, he set fire to the hotel room, provided to him by the American Red Cross, at 7001 N.E. Highway 99. He climbed onto the hotel roof and refused to come down when firefighters tried to rescue him.

He kicked a rescue ladder and caused a firefighter to tumble to the ground, prompting the third-degree assault charge. The ladder struck a vehicle and broke out its window. From his perch, Torres-Reyna kept police at bay for four hours.

Several other hotel guests, also displaced by the Willowbrook Apartments fire, were evacuated during the hotel fire and subsequent standoff.

Initially, police expressed concerns that Torres-Reyna might be mentally ill. He received a mental health evaluation and was found competent Nov. 30 to stand trial.

He is under an immigration hold placed by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. It’s unclear whether he’ll serve out his sentence before being deported.

Man faces charges in connection with assault

Woodburn police arrested a man on assault and other charges early Tuesday after they witnessed a man fighting with a woman.

Police responded to 1274 N Fifth St. on a report of a man armed with a knife and a hitting a female victim. The man apparently knew the woman, who did not sustain serious injuries, police said.

According to police, the man fled on foot after he spotted officers, and he led them through an apartment complex.

Officers and a police dog tracked the man to the 1100 block of N Third Street, where he hid behind a door. After several commands to surrender, officers took him to custody.

Police identified the suspect as Alfonzo Felipe-Jacinto, 25. He was held in the Marion County jail on charges of an outstanding warrant, attempted burglary, assault and strangulation. He also was being held on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.

Alcohol might have been a factor, police said.

News Flash: DRUG WARS producer Rusty Fleming coming to Salem

Alert date: 
January 2, 2013
Alert body: 

OFIR is honored to welcome Rusty Fleming, award winning producer of DRUG WARS: Silver or Lead, a chilling documentary.

Join OFIR, Saturday, January 26th from 1 - 4 pm at the Salem Public Library - Loucks Auditorium. 

Learn what you should know, must know, but DON'T know about drug cartels.  

Embedded in a vicious and violent drug cartel, Rusty filmed this documentary to teach us what we all need to understand about Mexican drug cartels and their malignant movement into our country and right here in our community.  Meet the man that has been in the belly of the beast!

Invite your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and anyone you know with children to join you for this FREE event.  Donations appreciated.

If you have questions, please call 504.435.0141.  Don't miss this unique opportunity to get educated.

CAIN TV reports:

Award winning producer, director, author and consultant for 25 years, Rusty started his multi-media company to produce industrial films, commercials and news segments.

Rusty is recognized by national media and law enforcement agencies as an expert on the Mexican drug cartels. Rusty has studied the cartels from the inside out, interviewing dozens of active cartel operatives from Mexico and the U.S., ranging from street dealers to the upper management of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in existence today.

Since producing the award winning documentary, Drug Wars: Silver or Lead, Rusty has spent the past seven years traveling throughout Latin America reporting for international television and radio broadcasts. He has made multiple appearances with MSNBC, CNN and FOX. In addition, he has produced multiple episodes of Gangland for The History Channel and still produced other episodic shows for A&E, Discovery Channel and National Geographic networks.

His first book on the subject "Narco-Warfare in the 21st Century" published in early 2009 details the story of how Rusty was able to get inside one cartel revealing the operational tactics they employ to run their criminal syndicates. The book serves as a roadmap as to how the cartels have evolved and the consequences of continuing to minimize and dismiss their true objectives.

Rusty lives in Sierra Blanca, Texas where he and Sheriff Arvin West have built a faith-based drug and alcohol rehab for men and women called Ranch on the Rock. Rusty also works with the Hudspeth County Sheriff's office as Public Information Officer.

Four arrested near elementary school

Four people were arrested in Hermiston on Saturday for possession of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of weapons and frequenting a place of drugs.

Miguel Angel Alvarado Samaniego, 44, of Hermiston, Laurie Estrada Galindo, 35, of Hermiston, Juan Castillo Gordian, 29, of Mt. Hood, and Obispo Enriquez Valesquez, 21, of Mt. Hood, were arrested on multiple accounts of unlawful possession of controlled substances, forged instruments, weapons and firearms. Samaniego had a warrant in Umatilla County for failure to appear to court and Galindo is a registered felon.

ICE HOLD - Miguel Angel Alvarado Samaniego, Juan Castillo Gordian, Obispo Enriquez Valesquez

Appeals court continues border agent's 'Twilight Zone'

Advocates for a U.S .Border Patrol agent sent to prison for arresting a suspect carrying 75 pounds of drugs into the United States are seeking a presidential pardon after an appeals court affirmed the agent’s 24-month sentence.

Jesus E. “Chito” Diaz Jr. was convicted of using extra force in the apprehensive of the suspect, identified as “MBE,” despite the fact the juvenile suspect was returned to Mexico almost immediately without any complaint “that he was injured, hurt, or in pain.”

The Mexican government, which several times has gotten involved in U.S. prosecutions of U.S. Border Patrol agents over its treatment of Mexicans caught carrying drugs into the United States, then demanded a prosecution by the U.S. because MBE was arrested “with excessive force” and he “complained about the incident.”

On appeal, Diaz’ defense argued the trial judge said the case looked like nothing more than a misdemeanor, but the conviction was on a felony.

“Yet, the court affirms the lower court’s decision?” wrote Andy Ramirez, president of the Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council. “Just as it has in prior cases where the government has been hellbent to make victims out of illegal alien narco-terrorists, and turn law enforcement officers into out of control, vicious thugs with badges? We don’t buy it, for this case fits the pattern and does not pass the smell test.”

The reaction came after the conviction of Diaz was affirmed by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Ramirez said his organization now will seek a presidential pardon “as this purely political case against Agent Diaz is a travesty sought out by the Mexican government in another message prosecution.”

“The Diaz case and decision by the appellate court to affirm the conviction against him continues a pattern of overreaching prosecutions by the U.S. Department of Justice especially in the Western District of Texas that include well documented cases against former USBP Agents Gary Brugman, Ramos and Compean, Noe Aleman, former FBI Special Agent in Charge Hardrick Crawford, Jr, and former Edwards County Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez,” Ramirez said.

Diaz issued a statement through the organization: “My family and I are deeply disappointed in the 5th Circuit’s decision on my appeal considering the fact that the presiding judge during oral commented during oral arguments that this looked more like a misdemeanor than a felony.”

Sign a petition demanding Jesus Diaz be freed from a case launched because of pressure from the Mexican government.

E. Grady Jolly, the trial judge, said: “Nobody’s arguing, really, that the officer did the right thing or that it can be justified so much. The question is it just sounds more like a misdemeanor instead of a felony to me.”

Ramirez said the goal is a presidential pardon, after Diaz’ trip through the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution and an El Paso Texas halfway house and since he’s just days ago been restored to his wife and children.

“It is unconscionable that the case, which was pushed by the Mexican government, and included documented suborned perjury, could be affirmed in the favor of the so-called victim, MBE, a narco-terrorist illegal alien,” said Ramirez.

The organization said the drug-running suspect was covered with gang tattoos and had been the subject of a “be on lookout” warning from the Border Patrol already.

Also, far from being injured in the arrest, the only “markings” on MBE were “those from the straps on his shoulders … while carrying 75 lbs of bundled marijuana,” the organization said.

WND reported Diaz was found guilty of denying the teenager his constitutional rights by applying excessive force during the arrest. He was accused eventually of violating the smuggler’s rights by forcing him to the ground during his arrest, handcuffing him, then pulling on his arms to coerce him into complying with orders.

 


Jesus Diaz Jr.

The audio of the trial judge’s comments have been posted on the LEOAC site.

In it, Jolly stated, “Nobody’s arguing, really, that the officer did the right thing or that it can be justified so much. The question is it just sounds more like a misdemeanor instead of a felony to me.”

According to the FreeAgentDiaz.com website, Diaz was “maliciously prosecuted at the request of the Mexican consul in Eagle Pass, Texas.”

The legal case against the officer was “solely motivated by politics and is yet another example of prosecutorial abuse and misconduct while protecting Mexico’s narco-terror influences,” organizers of the website said.

According to the discovery documents, other agents, hours after the alleged incident, claimed to an off-duty Border Patrol officer that Diaz used “excessive force” on the drug smuggler. That’s even though the suspect “was processed for voluntary return to Mexico by BPA Marco A. Ramirez, and subsequently returned to Mexico on the same date.”

None of the other agents thought the case significant enough to try to stop it at the time.

Several members of Congress, including Reps. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Lamar Smith of the House Judiciary Committee, had been asked to look into the case.

Diaz’ wife earlier said she was outraged because the government told her that her husband would not be allowed to return home even after serving his prison term.

That’s because she also is a Border Patrol agent and is armed.

“I have to ask what does the DOJ want me to do? I can’t retire, I’m too young. Divorcing him is not an option as he would still have to come around for the children. What is Chito going to do about his brother, not see him for the next five years? He carries a gun,” Diana Diaz said in a statement released at the time.

The group has called for the U.S. House of Representatives to investigate the case.

WND reported when the federal government started reaching into the prison commissary fund belonging to Diaz to address part of a $7,000 fine imposed by the judge. That’s even though the court earlier told Diaz the fine would not be paid until after his jail sentence.

 

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean

Border watchers will remember the extended battle fought by Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean after they were prosecuted, convicted and jailed, again at the request of the Mexican government, for shooting at and striking a drug smuggler who reportedly dropped a load in the U.S. and was fleeing back to Mexico.

Their punishments ultimately were commuted by President George W. Bush, although they did not receive pardons, leaving the convictions on their records.

Their original case stemmed from the Feb. 17, 2005, shooting of Oswaldo Aldrete-Davila. The two officers said they thought Aldrete-Davila was armed and made a threatening move.

WND was among the first to report Aldrete-Davila then committed a second drug offense, smuggling a second load of 750 pounds of marijuana across the border while he was under the protection of immunity from federal prosecutor Johnny Sutton’s office and in possession of a border-pass card authorized by the Department of Homeland Security.

WND also reported when Aldrete-Davila admitted to federal drug smuggling charges, was convicted and sentenced to federal prison for 57 months.

Aldrete-Davila was granted immunity for his drug smuggling by federal prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against the agents. He had crossed the Rio Grande and picked up a marijuana-loaded vehicle near El Paso. After a car chase in which he fled from the officers, he abandoned the vehicle and ran back across the border on foot. He was shot in the buttocks as he ran.

ICE: Illegal aliens must now commit at least three crimes to be deported

On Friday, the Obama administration quietly issued a memo stating that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency will no longer detain or seek to deport illegal aliens charged with misdemeanor crimes.

Among the conditions under which ICE agents are now allowed to issue a detainer, is if "the individual has three or more prior misdemeanor convictions."

Supposedly, there are a few exceptions to the new policy, including those charged with, or convicted of a DUI and sexual abuse.

The memo was signed by John Morton, the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and released on Friday evening.

The Obama administration has become very fond of the infamous so-called 'Friday night document dump,' a long-practiced attempt to not draw attention to the unpopular or damning information contained in the release.

This latest policy, Morton said, restricts action "against individuals arrested for minor misdemeanor offenses."

Read the latest 'Morton memo' in its entirety...

What are some of the crimes that will now be overlooked by ICE?

The following is a partial list of misdemeanors as defined by the state of California:

-Trespassing
-Petty theft
-Disorderly conduct
-Shoplifting
-Receipt for stolen property
-Probation violations
-Driving without a license
-Prostitution
-Reckless driving
-Assault and battery without minimum injury

See a more complete list of California misdemeanors...

Not surprisingly, this decision from the Obama administration has been completely ignored by the mainstream press.


 

Saturday, January 26th, 1-4pm - DRUG WARS: Silver or Lead, a documentary

Alert date: 
January 11, 2013
Alert body: 

This is an event you will not want to miss:  DRUG WARS: Silver or Lead is a chilling documentary about the malignant spread of drug cartel presence in our country, our state and right here in our community.  OFIR is honored to welcome Rusty Fleming, award winning producer of DRUG WARS: Silver or Lead. 

Join OFIR, Saturday, January 26th from 1 - 4 pm at the Salem Public Library - Loucks Auditorium.

Learn what you should know, must know, but DON'T know about drug cartels.

Embedded in a vicious and violent drug cartel, Rusty filmed this documentary to teach us what we all need to understand about Mexican drug cartels and their malignant movement into our country and right here in our community. Meet the man that has been in the belly of the beast.Embedded in a vicious and violent drug cartel, Rusty filmed this documentary to teach us what we all need to understand about Mexican drug cartels and their malignant movement into our country and right here in our community. Meet the man that has been in the belly of the beast!

The High Intensity Drug Traffic Area (HIDTA) identifies eight counties in Oregon with critical drug problems.   

The I-5 corridor is a favored route among drug runners smuggling drugs from Mexico into Oregon, Washington and Canada. We are in harms way everyday and must become educated about what is really happening on our streets, in our schools and even at our kids parties.

If you have teens, friends with teens, grandchildren that are teens or neighbors with teens, please invite them to join you at this FREE event.                  

Apathy and ignorance of this issue is not an excuse, it's a major part of the problem.

If you have questions about this event, would like more information, or think that you could contribute to this program in a positive way, please contact us at 503.435.0141.

NOTE:  This award winning documentary is not a Hollywood movie, it's an actual, factual, behind the scenes look at how cartels operate and the dangers they pose for our children and our society.  Portions of this film are sickening and horrific, but true.  Please, be advised and prepare your children in advance.

NOTE:  The producer of the documentary recommends that children as young as 10 should see this movie.  Gangs and cartels are targeting even younger children now.  Shockingly, eight year olds are the new cartel target for drug addiction.  Every child is at risk.

No prison in distracted driving crash

A couple who pleaded guilty to various charges in connection with a distracted driving crash that killed a motorcyclist were sentenced to three years’ probation on Friday in Benton County Circuit Court, but they remained in custody awaiting possible deportation.

Veronica Avila Diaz, 28, and her husband, Jose Antonio Cejas Gutierrez, 31, have been in jail since Oct. 11 on charges stemming from a Sept. 30 collision that took the life of a 72-year-old Eugene man, Kenneth Douglas Carroll.

The wreck occurred on Highway 99W north of Monroe. Avila Diaz, who had little driving experience and no license, was behind the wheel of the couple’s Ford Windstar van, with her husband in the passenger’s seat and their three children riding with them.

According to the account presented in court, she was distracted by Cejas Gutierrez, who was photographing his wife with his camera phone as she drove south toward Monroe.

She started to drift off the road and then overcorrected, veering into oncoming traffic. The van struck Carroll’s motorcycle, killing him. A third vehicle, with three people inside, swerved off the road to avoid the wreck.

“Jose was taking video of her driving, asking her to look at him,” prosecutor Shani Krumholz said in court on Friday. “The last shot that was taken prior to her hitting the shoulder is a shot of her looking directly at the camera.”

In a plea bargain negotiated with the Benton County District Attorney’s Office, Avila Diaz pleaded guilty on Friday to a single felony count of criminally negligent homicide. Six misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment, related to the other people involved in the crash, were dismissed along with a charge of reckless driving.

Cejas Gutierrez pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution, also a felony, and four misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment.

Emotions ran high in the packed courtroom during the sentencing portion of the hearing, when the victim’s relatives and the defendants had a chance to speak.

“Even though my dad was 72 years old, he had at least 20 years left in his life, which was taken prematurely by some people’s really stupid decisions,” said Kelly Carroll, the dead man’s daughter. Pausing frequently as she fought back tears, Carroll described her father as a loving parent, devoted grandparent and dedicated community volunteer.

Her brother, Brad, described his dad as “a really incredible man” and said his death had “left a void in my life.”

Both asked Judge Locke Williams to impose prison time.

The defendants, dressed in striped jail jumpsuits and shackled hand and foot, asked for forgiveness.

Speaking through a Spanish interpreter, Avila Diaz turned to face Carroll’s relatives in the gallery.

“I want to tell the family who’s here that I’m very sorry,” she said in a small voice. “I would not have ever intentionally taken anybody’s life or hurt anybody. I’m really, really sorry.”

Williams called the crash a tragedy caused by “a horrendously stupid act that, unfortunately, in this day and age with cellphones, people do each and every day.”

However, citing the defendants’ lack of criminal history, he declined to send them to prison. Instead, he ordered the couple to serve three years’ probation on the felony counts and imposed sentences of 30 to 60 days on the lesser charges, which were satisfied by the time served since their arrest.

He ordered Avila Diaz to pay $18,198.78 in restitution, fines and fees and ruled she could not hold a driver’s license for one year. Cejas Gutierrez was required to pay $18,598.78 and had his license suspended for 90 days.

“It’s always a difficult balance of just punishment, retribution and what’s appropriate in each individual case,” he said. “There is no good solution in this case.”

Avila Diaz was represented by Nicolas Ortiz. Cejas Gutierrez was represented by Karen Zorn.

The couple, who came to the United States from Mexico about nine years ago, were being held by order of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement pending further proceedings on their immigration status.

Kelly Carroll, the victim’s daughter, said she was bitterly disappointed that the defendants will not see prison time. Deporting them to their home country, she said, would be like punishing two naughty children by sending them to their room.

“This is just a travesty of justice,” she said after the hearing. “There is no justice here.”
 

Changes loom for illegal migrants

Alamo, Texas -- President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul threatens to roll back some services for the country’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants if clinics and hospitals are overwhelmed with newly insured patients and can’t afford to care for as many poor families.

The law envisions that 32 million uninsured Americans will get access to coverage by 2019. Because that should mean fewer uninsured patients showing up at hospitals, the program slashed the federal reimbursement for uncompensated care.

This hurts the people who have found care through the country’s expansion of community health clinics, which offered free or low-cost care with help from the federal government.

For years, Sonia Limas would drag her daughters to the emergency room whenever they fell sick. As an illegal immigrant, she had no health insurance, and the only place she knew to seek treatment was the hospital or community health clinics.

When the reform has been fully implemented, illegal immigrants will make up the nation’s second-largest population of uninsured, or about 25 percent. The only larger group will be people who qualify for insurance but fail to enroll, according to a 2012 study by the Washington-based Urban Institute.

And since about two-thirds of illegal immigrants live in just eight states, those areas will have a disproportionate share of the uninsured to care for.

In communities “where the number of undocumented immigrants is greatest, the strain has reached the breaking point,” Rich Umbdenstock, president of the American Hospital Association, wrote last year in a letter to Obama, asking him to keep in mind the uncompensated care hospitals gave to that group. “In response, many hospitals have had to curtail services, delay implementing services, or close beds.”

The federal government has offered to expand Medicaid, the joint state-federal health program for the poor and disabled, but states must decide whether to take the deal. And in some of those eight states — including Texas, Florida and New Jersey — hospitals are scrambling to determine whether they will still have enough money to treat the remaining uninsured.

Realistically, taxpayers are already paying for some of the treatment provided to illegal immigrants because hospitals are required by law to stabilize and treat any patients that arrive in an emergency room, regardless of their ability to pay. The money to cover the costs typically comes from federal, state and local taxes.

A solid accounting of money spent treating illegal immigrants is elusive because most hospitals do not ask for immigration status. But some states have tried. California, home to the nation’s largest population of illegal immigrants, spent an estimated $1.2 billion last year through Medicaid to care for 822,500 illegal immigrants.

The New Jersey Hospital Association in 2010 estimated that it cost between $600 million and $650 million annually to treat 550,000 illegal immigrants.

And in Texas, a 2010 analysis by the Health and Human Services Commission found that the agency had provided $96 million in benefits to illegal immigrants, up from $81 million two years earlier. The state’s public hospital districts spent an additional $717 million in uncompensated care to treat that population.

 

A slightly longer and different version of this article is available.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - enforcement