drugs

Suspect in August’s triple homicide booked into Benton County jail

A Umatilla man now is charged with three counts of aggravated first-degree murder for allegedly shooting three people in a Benton County cornfield last August.

Francisco J. Miranda-Resendiz, 23, was booked into the Benton County jail on Friday. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday.

The bodies of David Perez-Saucedo, 22, Victoria Torres, 19, and Abigail Torres-Renteria, 23, were found Aug. 9 on farmland off Nine Canyon Road, southeast of the intersection with Coffin Road.

The victims all were from Pasco. Torres-Renteria was almost nine months pregnant.

Miranda-Resendiz initially was charged with first-degree murder for Perez-Saucedo, but his charges were later amended to include the two women, who were not related.

Aggravated murder in Washington carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release, or death, if prosecutors decide to seek the death penalty.

As of Jan. 16, no one else had been charged in connection to the triple homicide.

Miranda-Resendiz had been in the Umatilla County jail since his Aug. 10 arrest. Benton County prosecutors have waited for extradition paperwork to clear the governor’s offices in both states before transporting him to Kennewick.

Jail records and court documents in Oregon and Washington show different spellings and variations of his last name, including Resendez Miranda.

His bail is set at $1 million. He also has a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.

He entered a plea deal Dec. 1 in Umatilla County Circuit Court to a misdemeanor charge of menacing. The Oregon case was for threatening a fourth Tri-City man who was with Perez-Saucedo, Torres and Torres-Renteria hours before they were killed. Miranda-Resendiz was caught on a surveillance camera outside a convenience store.

The victim in the menacing case claimed he was able to run to safety.

Benton County sheriff’s officials in late August said Miranda-Resendiz’s two brothers and father were wanted for questioning in the homicide investigation.

Fidel Miranda-Huitron, 51, Eduardo Miranda-Resendiz, 24, and Fernando de Jesus Miranda-Resendiz, 19, all lived in the Umatilla area and are believed to have possibly left the country after the shootings.

Court documents show the slayings might have been retaliation for a break-in at Miranda-Resendiz’s apartment the night before. He worked with Perez-Saucedo at a Wyckoff Farms property along the Columbia River in Paterson.

Perez-Saucedo’s group went to Umatilla, possibly to a party, late on Aug. 8. The same night, Miranda-Resendiz was in Umatilla drinking with friends when he allegedly became concerned that Perez-Saucedo broke into one of his Umatilla apartments, documents said.

Witnesses reportedly told authorities that Miranda-Resendiz was a suspected drug dealer.

The victims were later confronted outside the convenience store by the occupants of four vehicles. Video footage shows Perez-Saucedo, Torres and Torres-Renteria being forced into another car, court documents said. One person was seen on the video carrying a weapon.

It is unclear from the court documents what happened next or how the victims got to south Benton County. A farmworker discovered their bodies at 5:30 a.m. the next morning in the field, which is about 15 miles from Miranda-Resendiz’s apartment.

Miranda-Resendiz has denied taking Perez-Saucedo out of his vehicle earlier that night, and told a friend that someone else was responsible for the killings.

4 times deported, Mexican gets 6 years after meth discovery

Federal prosecutors say a Mexican man deported four times from the United States has been sentenced to six years in prison after he was arrested in a southern Oregon traffic stop and officers found 2.5 pounds of methamphetamine...

...identified him as 44-year-old Julio Gonzalez-Zamudio.

Prosecutors said he has a record of drug offenses and burglaries, had once served more than five years, and was most recently deported in 2011.

They said the sentence Judge Owen Panner imposed Monday covers his illegal re-entry and his violation of release-from-custody terms in 2011.

 

Felon deported to Mexico two years ago to face sentencing next week following arrest for pointing BB gun at motorist

A man accused of shooting a BB gun at a car in Oregon City this spring and later found to have packaged bindles of heroin in his vehicle is expected to change his plea and be sentenced in federal court on Tuesday.

Daniel Jimenez-Barragan, 22, was indicted in U.S. District Court for possession with intent to distribute heroin and illegal re-entry to the country. He was a convicted felon who had been deported to Mexico two years earlier...

Jimenez-Barragan was arrested on April 9 after Oregon state police responded to a report of a motorist driving recklessly on Interstate 205...

Jimenez-Barragan provided a fake Mexican driver's license. Police searched the truck and said they found a BB gun, $6,600 in cash and approximately five grams of heroin.

Jimenez-Barragan, 28, then gave police a second phony name. After he was fingerprinted, police learned his real identity.

Jimenez-Barragan was deported from the United States on April 25, 2012. He has prior criminal convictions in Multnomah County for delivery of heroin in March 2012 and possession of heroin in October 2011.

A plea in the federal case would result in the dismissal of pending charges against Jimenez-Barragan in Clackamas County, Mygrant wrote in a sentencing memo.

His plea and sentencing is set for 11:30 am. on Tuesday. Jimenez-Barragan is being held at Multnomah County's Inverness Jail...
 

Sheriffs to Converge On DC, Demand GOP Block Boehner's Plan to Fund Obama's Amnesty

On Wednesday, 50 sheriffs from around the country will converge on Washington, D.C. to demand that the GOP block House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) plans to fund Obama's executive amnesty.

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), "the sheriffs will speak out against the president's recent executive amnesty which grants deferred action to millions of illegal aliens."

Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson of Bristol County, Massachusetts organized the trip to the nation's capital. He will be joined by the other sheriffs at "a joint press conference with Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and David Ritter (R-LA), and other members of Congress."

The press conference is being held on December 10 because that comes less than two days "before government funding expires." To date, FAIR reports that Boehner has been hesitant to say he will not fund Obama's amnesty, choosing instead to say "there are a lot of options on the table" or "we have limited options in terms of how we can deal with this."

In reality, Boehner can see to it that Congress separates Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding "from the larger omnibus appropriation measure" and explicitly states that no funds can be used to fund Obama's amnesty. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is all but certain to oppose and attempt to block this move. Therefore, another avenue -- one of less resistance -- is to "kick the can down the road on DHS funding until early 2015 when the Republicans control both houses of Congress." This option takes Reid out of the scenario but it also means Boehner will have to be pressured all over again in January when the measure comes back up.

Option three is to pass a bill that simply defunds amnesty. This is a straightforward approach. And although it would face "a near certain veto" it would also force Obama to come out and "hold DHS hostage to his amnesty program."

Boehner's fourth option is to simply ignore the will of midterm election voters and obey Obama's wishes. But the sheriff's are coming to D.C. to ask the GOP to stop Boehner from doing this.
 

Labor activist Francisco Aguirre leaves Augustana Lutheran Church sanctuary, heads to Fairview home

Francisco Aguirre, the labor activist accused of illegally reentering the U.S. after his 2000 deportation to El Salvador, is going to his home in Fairview.

The 35-year-old Fairview resident has been living at Augustana Lutheran Church in Northeast Portland since September, when congregants took him in as part of the sanctuary movement.

Aguirre's latest troubles began Aug. 9, when he was stopped for drunken driving ...

...national and local community groups -- including Voz Worker's Rights Education Project, Jobs with Justice and Migrant Workers Collective -- banded together to raise money and support for Aguirre....

Aguirre stayed in the church until November, when he headed to the Clackamas County courthouse to face the drunken-driving charge. He was briefly jailed then returned to the church. Immigration and Customs Enforcement dropped the detainer it had placed on Aguirre. He will go to trial on the illegal reentry charge in January...

"This was no mistake," Aguirre said in a statement. "Thanks to the efforts of hundreds who protest our inhumane immigration policy I can now return home. I thank each and every person who supported our campaign, and ask them to support my brothers and sisters who are not as fortunate."

 

Seven Year Report: Criminal Aliens Incarcerated Oregon Department

According to the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) Inmate Population Profile dated October 1, 2014 DOC indicated there were 14,606 prisoners incarcerated in DOC’s 14 prisons (See attachment).

Not included in DOC’s October 1st Inmate Population Profile was DOC data indicating there were 1,086 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) incarcerated in its prison system (See attachment).

All 1,086 criminal aliens incarcerated on October 1st by DOC had United States (U.S.) Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), detainers. The U.S. DHS–ICE is responsible for identifying whether a DOC inmate is a criminal alien or a domestic inmate. If an inmate is identified as being a criminal alien, at U.S. DHS–ICE’s request, the DOC places an “ICE detainer” on the inmate that directs DOC officials to transfer custody to ICE following completion of the inmate’s state sanction.

Criminal aliens made up approximately 7.43% of the DOC October 1st prison population (See table).
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Inmates

DOC Domestic Inmates

DOC Inmates W/ICE detainers

DOC % Inmates W/ICE detainers

October 1, 2007

13,553

12,568

985

7.27%

October 1, 2008

13,671

12,587

1,084

7.93%

October 1, 2009

13,927

12,696

1,231

8.84%

October 1, 2010

14,071

12,837

1,234

8.77%

October 1, 2011

13,981

12,792

1,189

8.50%

October 1, 2012

14,234

12,992

1,242

8.73%

October 1, 2013

14,591

13,419

1,172

8.03%

October 1, 2014

14,606

13,520

1,086

7.43%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Unit-ICE inmates lists 01 OCTOBER 07rtf – 01 OCTOBER 14.rtf and Inmate Population Profile 01 OCTOBER 07 – 01 OCTOBER 14.

Comparing DOC criminal alien incarceration numbers from October 1, 2007 (985 criminal aliens) and October 1, 2014 (1,086 criminal aliens), the DOC prison system incarcerated 101 criminal aliens more than it did on October 1, 2007, a 10.25% increase (See table).
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Inmates W/ICE detainers

DOC Inmates W/ICE detainers # Increase or (Decrease) from Previous Year

DOC Inmates W/ICE detainers % Increase or (Decrease) from Previous Year

October 1, 2007

985

————

————

October 1, 2008

1,084

99

10.05%

October 1, 2009

1,231

147

13.56%

October 1, 2010

1,234

3

0.24%

October 1, 2011

1,189

(45)

(3.65%)

October 1, 2012

1,242

53

4.46%

October 1, 2013

1,172

(70)

(5.64%)

October 1, 2014

1,086

(86)

(7.34%)

Total

101

10.25%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Unit-ICE inmates lists 01 OCTOBER 07rtf – 01 OCTOBER 14.rtf and Inmate Population Profile 01 OCTOBER 07 – 01 OCTOBER 14.

When comparing DOC domestic criminal incarceration numbers from October 1, 2007 (12,568 domestic criminals) and October 1, 2014 (13,520 domestic criminals), the DOC prison system incarcerated 952 domestic criminals more than it did on October 1, 2007, a 7.57% increase (See table).
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Domestic Inmates

DOC Domestic Inmates # Increase or (Decrease) from Previous Year

DOC Domestic Inmates % Increase or (Decrease) from Previous Year

October 1, 2007

12,568

————

————

October 1, 2008

12,587

19

0.15%

October 1, 2009

12,696

109

0.86%

October 1, 2010

12,837

141

1.11%

October 1, 2011

12,792

(45)

(0.35%)

October 1, 2012

12,992

200

1.56%

October 1, 2013

13,419

427

3.29%

October 1, 2014

13,520

101

0.75%

Total

952

7.57%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Unit-ICE inmates lists 01 OCTOBER 07rtf – 01 OCTOBER 14.rtf and Inmate Population Profile 01 OCTOBER 07 – 01 OCTOBER 14.

Bringing the preceding numbers together, from October 1st 2007– 2014, seven years, the DOC prison population grew by 1,053 domestic and criminal alien prisoners; 9.59% of the overall growth was in criminal alien prisoners.

A review of the 1,086 criminal aliens in DOC prisons by number per county and percentage (%) per county equated to the following: 263-Marion (24.22%); 258-Multnomah (23.76%); 184-Washington (16.94%); 79-Clackamas (7.27%); 54-Lane (4.97%); 49-Jackson (4.51%); 29-Yamhill (2.67%); 26-Linn (2.39%); 19-Umatilla (1.75%); 17-Deschutes (1.56%); 15-Polk (1.38%); 14-Benton (1.29%); 12-Malheur (1.10%); 10-Lincoln (0.92%); 9-Jefferson (0.83%); 8-Klamath (0.74%); 7-Douglas (0.64%); 5-Josephine (0.46%); 5-Morrow (0.46%); 4-Coos (0.37%); 3-Clatsop (0.28%); 3-Hood River (0.28%); 3-Tillamook (0.28%); 3-Wasco (0.28%); 2-Crook (0.18%); 2-Union (0.18); 1-Columbia (0.09%); 1-Gilliam (0.09%); 1-OOS (0.09%); 0-Baker (0.00%); 0-Curry (0.00%); 0-Grant (0.00%); 0-Harney (0.00%); 0-Lake (0.00); 0-Sherman (0.00%); 0-Wallowa (0.00%); and 0-Wheeler (0.00%).

No member of the Oregon State Legislature should forget the uncounted crime victims and their families, no matter what their immigration status, all victims of the 1,086 criminal aliens incarcerated in DOC prisons.

A review of the 1,086 criminal aliens in the DOC prison population by numbers per crime and percentage (%) per crime equated to the following: 200-sex abuses (18.42%); 172-rapes (15.84%); 159-drugs (14.64%); 144-homicides (13.26%); 98-assaults (9.02%); 98-sodomies (9.02%); 66-robberies (6.08%); 42-kidnappings (3.87%); 21-burglaries (1.93%); 14-thefts (1.29%); 11-driving offenses (1.01%); 3-vehicle thefts (0.28%); 1-arsons (0.09%); 1-forgery (0.09%); and 56 other types of crime or a combination of the preceding crimes (5.16%).

Oregon State Legislators should not overlook the source of the preceding crimes, the country of origin of the 1,086 criminal aliens in DOC prisons.

The self-declared counties of origin of the 1,086 criminal aliens in the DOC prison population by numbers and percentage (%) per country equated to the following: 873-Mexico (80.39%); 32-Guatemala (2.95%); 19-Vietnam (1.75%); 16-El Salvador (1.47%); 12-Cuba (1.10%); 11-Honduras (1.01%); 10-Russia (0.92%); 10-Ukraine (0.92%); 8-Federated States of Micronesia (0.74%); 6-Laos (0.55%); 6-Philippines (0.55%); and 83 from other counties (7.64%).

Beyond the DOC criminal alien incarceration numbers and incarceration percentages, per county and per crime type, or even country of origin, criminal aliens pose high economic cost on Oregonians.

An individual prisoner incarcerated in the DOC prison system costs the state approximately ($87.08) per day (See link).

http://www.oregon.gov/doc/GECO/docs/pdf/IB_53_Quick_Facts_06_14.pdf

The DOC’s incarceration cost for its 1,086 criminal alien prison population is approximately ($94,568.88) per day, ($661,982.16) per week, and ($34,517,641.20) per year.

Even taking into account fiscal year 2013 United States Federal Government State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) award of $2,146,935.00, if the State of Oregon receives the same amount of SCAAP funding for fiscal year 2014, the cost to incarcerate 1,086 criminal aliens to the DOC will be at least ($32,370,706.20) (See link).

https://www.bja.gov/Funding/13SCAAPawards.pdf

None of preceding cost estimates for the DOC to incarcerate the 1,086 criminal aliens include the dollar amount for legal services (indigent defense), court costs, nor cost estimates to cover victim assistance.

An unfortunate fact, the State of Oregon is not fully cooperating with the U.S. DHS–ICE to fight crime committed by criminal aliens who reside in Oregon.

In year 2007, a United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) report titled “Cooperation of SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) Recipients in the Removal of Criminal Aliens from the United States, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General Audit Division, Audit Report 07-07, October 2007, Redacted-Public Version” identified the State of Oregon as having an official “state sanctuary statute,” ORS 181.850 Enforcement of federal immigration laws (See link).

http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/reports/OJP/a0707/final.pdf

The USDOJ, the federal governments top law enforcement agency, identified Oregon as a “sanctuary” for criminal aliens.

An Oregon law, Oregon Revised Statue 181.850 (ORS 181.850), Section (1), prohibits Oregon law enforcement (Oregon State Police (OSP), county sheriffs, city police departments) from asking immigration status of anyone residing in the State of Oregon “for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.” Under ORS 181.850, Section (2), Oregon law enforcement October exchange information with U.S. DHS–ICE . . . “in order to: Subsection (a), “Verify the immigration status of a person if the person is arrested for any criminal offense;” or, Subsection (b), “Request criminal investigation information with reference to persons named in records of the” U.S. DHS–ICE . . . (See link).

http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/lawsstatutes/2013ors181.html

The State of Oregon should no longer be classified by U.S. federal government law enforcement as having an official “state sanctuary statute” for criminal aliens, nor should Oregon be a sanctuary for criminal aliens to kill, rape, maim or abuse Oregonians.

Francisco Aguirre, Portland labor activist fighting deportation, arrested on federal criminal warrant

Francisco Aguirre, a local labor activist originally from El Salvador, was arrested Thursday on federal charges of entering the United States illegally after he had been deported.

Aguirre took refuge in Northeast Portland church in September ...

Aguirre -- full name Juan Francisco Aguirre-Velasquez -- was deported to El Salvador in 2000 after a conviction for drug trafficking offenses.

Thursday's arrest came as a surprise to Aguirre...

Defense attorney Barbara Gabriela Ghio said she did not learn of the federal warrant until the hearing began.

A federal grand jury indicted Aguirre on Sept. 30 and an arrest warrant was issued Oct. 1.

Aguirre arrived at the courthouse in an old school bus along with religious leaders and many of those fighting his deportation....

"Here I am, doing the right thing. Doing what they ask me to do. They say, 'Francisco need(s) to show up at court.' Here I am. I'm not hiding," Aguirre said.

"I'm a father. I'm a community organizer. This is where I belong," he said.

Aguirre also urged President Obama to take immediate steps to address immigration reform....

It is unclear how he will comply with the requirement for alcohol treatment while he is in federal custody.

Aguirre was taken to the Clackamas County Jail where he was to be held until federal agents took him into custody, Ghio said.

Aguirre's supporters quickly regrouped. About 70 people held a protest rally outside the U.S Attorney's Office in downtown Portland on Thursday afternoon.

Aguirre, transferred to to the Multnomah County Detention Center on a federal hold, spoke to them by phone. He said he was going on a hunger strike and asked his supporters to stay strong and united.

Aguirre was involved in the Workers' Organizing Committee that went on to found Voz Workers' Rights Education Project, nonprofit organization that mostly helps male Latino immigrants find work in Portland. He currently serves as the MLK Jr. Worker Center coordinator for the group.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, another of Aguirre's supporters, issued a statement Thursday afternoon:

I have been informed that Francisco Aguirre was arrested today in Clackamas County and is being held, while federal agents plan to take him into custody.

Mr. Aguirre was not in court today because of his immigration status. He was in a Clackamas County Court on an accusation of driving under the influence. But he was taken into custody on the likelihood that he will be deported.

As I stated this summer, Francisco Aguirre is an important voice on the issues of equity and immigration rights. Our community benefits from the work done by Francisco and the Voz Workers Rights Education Project....

Naturally, I have faith that the U.S. Attorney for Oregon will handle this case in a just manner. I do not presuppose the outcome. I also do not know if Mr. Aguirre should be deported. A court will decide that. But I do know that our community is better off for having him here, in Oregon, with his family, working hard and paying his taxes, and speaking out on issues that impact our community.

I stand with mayors across the nation who are calling on Congress to address comprehensive immigration reform. This case, and the way it has been handled, is a glaring example of why that reform is needed right now.

Lax Immigration Policies May Have Shielded Killer of California Deputies

The man accused in Friday's horrific killing and carjacking spree near Sacramento, Calif., which resulted in the deaths of two sheriff's deputies and the wounding of two others, is a citizen of Mexico who was deported twice previously, but who apparently has been living in the United States for more than a decade.

Thanks to fingerprint sharing made possible by ICE's Secure Communities program (which DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has indicated he wants to scale back), authorities were able to quickly determine that the man arrested had given them an alias. ICE has issued a statement saying that the accused is Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte, and that he was deported in 1997 after a conviction in Arizona for possession of narcotics for sale, and again in 2001.

Unfortunately, the Secure Communities identification system seems to be the only part of our immigration system that has worked properly against this violent criminal.

According to news accounts, after he illegally re-entered the country after deportation, Monroy-Bracamonte lived and worked for years in Arizona, where he married Janelle Marquez Monroy-Bracamonte, reported to be a U.S. citizen. At some point they moved to the Salt Lake City, Utah, area, which is notably more hospitable to illegal residents. While working as a house painter and lawn mower there, Monroy-Bracamonte apparently racked up more than 10 misdemeanor traffic offenses and citations between 2003 and 2009 under an alias. In addition, he reportedly had a record of one traffic ticket and three small claims court filings for debt in his real name, also in Utah.

Had these offenses occurred in Arizona or other places where local law enforcement agencies are encouraged (and required in Arizona since 2012) to look into the identity and immigration status of lawbreakers, Monroy-Bracamonte might have come to the attention of local police and ICE a long time ago. But Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank has said such policies are "ridiculous" and "you actually increase crime when you enforce these kinds of laws." Who looks ridiculous now? Chief Burbank also has been active with a (very small) group of police chiefs lobbying against immigration enforcement and for amnesty.

Monroy-Bracamonte appears not to be your average illegal worker off on a weekend road trip with his wife. They were quite well armed for their trip to Sacramento, packing an AR-15 assault rifle and at least two pistols. Monroy-Bracamonte killed Sacramento County deputy Danny Oliver by shooting him in the forehead as he approached their car, which was parked in the lot of a Motel 6 that is notorious for criminal activity, and where they were registered as guests. They led officers on a six-hour chase, during which Monroy-Bracamonte killed detective Michael David Davis, Jr., and wounded two others before officers used tear gas to smoke him out of hiding in a house in Auburn, Calif.

Photographs reported to be of Monroy-Bracamonte suggest that he is a member of the criminal gang known as Mexican Pride and associated with the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Mexican Pride has been on ICE's radar screen for some time. Dozens of Mexican Pride members and associates have been arrested by ICE agents over the years, and the agency's arrest records show concentrations in Arizona, southeast Washington state, Colorado, and the Washington DC/Northern Virginia metro area. Mexican Pride members often have violent criminal histories, including assault, weapons offenses, drug dealing, burglary, robbery, and more. Federal gang intelligence reports say Mexican Pride is also involved in prostitution and human trafficking. The gang's membership includes Central Americans as well as Mexicans and U.S. citizens.

Unfortunately, ICE leadership under the Obama administration has pulled back on ICE's highly effective anti-gang programs in the last few years, and American communities – and families – are now paying the price.

ICE's National Gang Unit records show that 20 percent fewer gang arrests were made in 2013 than in 2012. And more and more of the ICE gang arrests have been occurring overseas rather than within the United States.

Whereas ICE agents once could work closely with local law enforcement agencies to target deportable gang members pro-actively with surge and street operations, now policies from ICE headquarters dictate that gang members are off-limits for enforcement until they are convicted of a serious crime. The result is that foreign gang members now can more easily avoid arrest, have little fear of immigration enforcement, are more likely to obtain benefits or relief from removal, are much less likely to face deportation, and are more likely to return after deportation. Liberal ICE detention policies have led to the release of gang members arrested by ICE investigators, which can enable them to escape prosecution. ICE agents also face limitations that are stricter than most other federal and local investigators on how they may use social media; such tools might well have enabled ICE to target Monroy-Bracamonte earlier.

So far ICE has been tight-lipped with information on Luis and Janelle Monroy-Bracamonte, referring questions to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. The following questions remain to be answered:

1 - Has Luis Monroy-Bracamonte had other encounters with immigration authorities since his removal in 2001?

2 - What are the circumstances of his 2001 removal? Did it follow another arrest, and which agency made that arrest?

3 - Did Janelle Marquez Monroy-Bracamonte (or anyone else) seek to sponsor Luis for a green card? Has he received any immigration benefit or exercise of prosecutorial discretion?

4 - Law enforcement agencies should be asked to disclose Monroy-Bracamonte's entire criminal history and record of civil infractions and charges.

5 - Does Janelle Monroy-Bracamonte have a criminal history?

6 - What identification documents did Monroy-Bracamonte provide to the officers who arrested him? Did they include a legally issued driver's license that he obtained in Utah or another state? Or did he use fraudulent documents?

7 - Did any Utah law enforcement officers ever inquire or investigate his identity or immigration status? If so, was he referred to ICE?

The answers to these questions may guide lawmakers and local law enforcement agencies to adopt, or reinstate, more effective enforcement practices that prioritize public safety over protecting criminal aliens.

Lax Immigration Policies May Have Shielded Killer of California Deputies

The man accused in Friday's horrific killing and carjacking spree near Sacramento, Calif., which resulted in the deaths of two sheriff's deputies and the wounding of two others, is a citizen of Mexico who was deported twice previously, but who apparently has been living in the United States for more than a decade.

Thanks to fingerprint sharing made possible by ICE's Secure Communities program (which DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has indicated he wants to scale back), authorities were able to quickly determine that the man arrested had given them an alias. ICE has issued a statement saying that the accused is Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte, and that he was deported in 1997 after a conviction in Arizona for possession of narcotics for sale, and again in 2001.

Unfortunately, the Secure Communities identification system seems to be the only part of our immigration system that has worked properly against this violent criminal.

According to news accounts, after he illegally re-entered the country after deportation, Monroy-Bracamonte lived and worked for years in Arizona, where he married Janelle Marquez Monroy-Bracamonte, reported to be a U.S. citizen. At some point they moved to the Salt Lake City, Utah, area, which is notably more hospitable to illegal residents. While working as a house painter and lawn mower there, Monroy-Bracamonte apparently racked up more than 10 misdemeanor traffic offenses and citations between 2003 and 2009 under an alias. In addition, he reportedly had a record of one traffic ticket and three small claims court filings for debt in his real name, also in Utah.

Had these offenses occurred in Arizona or other places where local law enforcement agencies are encouraged (and required in Arizona since 2012) to look into the identity and immigration status of lawbreakers, Monroy-Bracamonte might have come to the attention of local police and ICE a long time ago. But Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank has said such policies are "ridiculous" and "you actually increase crime when you enforce these kinds of laws." Who looks ridiculous now? Chief Burbank also has been active with a (very small) group of police chiefs lobbying against immigration enforcement and for amnesty.

Monroy-Bracamonte appears not to be your average illegal worker off on a weekend road trip with his wife. They were quite well armed for their trip to Sacramento, packing an AR-15 assault rifle and at least two pistols. Monroy-Bracamonte killed Sacramento County deputy Danny Oliver by shooting him in the forehead as he approached their car, which was parked in the lot of a Motel 6 that is notorious for criminal activity, and where they were registered as guests. They led officers on a six-hour chase, during which Monroy-Bracamonte killed detective Michael David Davis, Jr., and wounded two others before officers used tear gas to smoke him out of hiding in a house in Auburn, Calif.

Photographs reported to be of Monroy-Bracamonte suggest that he is a member of the criminal gang known as Mexican Pride and associated with the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Mexican Pride has been on ICE's radar screen for some time. Dozens of Mexican Pride members and associates have been arrested by ICE agents over the years, and the agency's arrest records show concentrations in Arizona, southeast Washington state, Colorado, and the Washington DC/Northern Virginia metro area. Mexican Pride members often have violent criminal histories, including assault, weapons offenses, drug dealing, burglary, robbery, and more. Federal gang intelligence reports say Mexican Pride is also involved in prostitution and human trafficking. The gang's membership includes Central Americans as well as Mexicans and U.S. citizens.

Unfortunately, ICE leadership under the Obama administration has pulled back on ICE's highly effective anti-gang programs in the last few years, and American communities – and families – are now paying the price.

ICE's National Gang Unit records show that 20 percent fewer gang arrests were made in 2013 than in 2012. And more and more of the ICE gang arrests have been occurring overseas rather than within the United States.

Whereas ICE agents once could work closely with local law enforcement agencies to target deportable gang members pro-actively with surge and street operations, now policies from ICE headquarters dictate that gang members are off-limits for enforcement until they are convicted of a serious crime. The result is that foreign gang members now can more easily avoid arrest, have little fear of immigration enforcement, are more likely to obtain benefits or relief from removal, are much less likely to face deportation, and are more likely to return after deportation. Liberal ICE detention policies have led to the release of gang members arrested by ICE investigators, which can enable them to escape prosecution. ICE agents also face limitations that are stricter than most other federal and local investigators on how they may use social media; such tools might well have enabled ICE to target Monroy-Bracamonte earlier.

So far ICE has been tight-lipped with information on Luis and Janelle Monroy-Bracamonte, referring questions to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. The following questions remain to be answered:

1 - Has Luis Monroy-Bracamonte had other encounters with immigration authorities since his removal in 2001?

2 - What are the circumstances of his 2001 removal? Did it follow another arrest, and which agency made that arrest?

3 - Did Janelle Marquez Monroy-Bracamonte (or anyone else) seek to sponsor Luis for a green card? Has he received any immigration benefit or exercise of prosecutorial discretion?

4 - Law enforcement agencies should be asked to disclose Monroy-Bracamonte's entire criminal history and record of civil infractions and charges.

5 - Does Janelle Monroy-Bracamonte have a criminal history?

6 - What identification documents did Monroy-Bracamonte provide to the officers who arrested him? Did they include a legally issued driver's license that he obtained in Utah or another state? Or did he use fraudulent documents?

7 - Did any Utah law enforcement officers ever inquire or investigate his identity or immigration status? If so, was he referred to ICE?

The answers to these questions may guide lawmakers and local law enforcement agencies to adopt, or reinstate, more effective enforcement practices that prioritize public safety over protecting criminal aliens.

Meth smuggler receives 5-year prison sentence

One of two suspects accused of trying to transport 22 pounds of methamphetamine through Klamath County received a five-year prison sentence Wednesday.

The other suspect’s sentence, whether it involves prison time or probation, has yet to be determined.

Sandra Guillen-Avila, 39, and Jeronimo Novoa-Leal, 24, were arrested in October 2013 by Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers after a traffic stop on Highway 97.

During a search of the vehicle utilizing an OSP drug detection dog, 22 pounds of crystal meth and $5,000 in cash was found. The illegal narcotic was stashed in several small bags secreted around the vehicle.

Novoa-Leal had apparently hired Guillen-Avila and paid her $1,000 to drive him from Riverside, Calif., to Washington, where the drugs would be sold. Guillen-Avila is listed as a Quincy, Wash., resident, and Novoa-Leal is noted to have lived in Antioch, Calif.

District Attorney Rob Patridge noted during the Wednesday morning sentencing hearing the bust might be one of the largest single methamphetamine seizures on a state highway in recent Klamath Falls history — maybe even across the state.

“It’s really important, I think, we send a message from this case that we will not tolerate this coming into our community,” Patridge said.

The specifics of whether the suspects would receive probation or prison time became a point of contention during the hearing. While both pleaded guilty this summer, how exactly they should be punished was not finalized until the day of sentencing.

Two pre-sentencing investigations were completed for Novoa-Leal, who pleaded guilty to meth possession and delivery July 16. One investigation recommended only probation, while the second recommended a 60-month prison sentence.

The 60-month (five-year) sentence was imposed by Judge Marci Adkisson. It was noted in court Novoa-Leal was in the country illegally and he would be deported to Mexico upon his release from prison.

Adkisson expressed her objections to anything other than prison for the suspects during the hearing.

“I think they’re liars, I think they’re both liars. Both these people are going to the penitentiary,” Adkisson said. “It’s just over the top that we would even consider not punishing this crime.”

Patridge seconded Adkisson’s statement in a press release.

“Judge Adkisson put an exclamation point on the sentencing this morning by telling the defendant that she knew he was lying and chastised him for failing to take responsibility,” Patridge said. “Judge Adkisson and I are on the same page. If you are going to use Oregon to traffick drugs, we’re not just going to turn you around and send you back home to Mexico on a one way ticket ... we are going to hold you accountable and send you to jail here in Oregon to pay the price for the crimes you have committed while illegally in the United States and here in Oregon.”

The judge did agree to postpone sentencing Guillen-Avila so her defense attorney could present more evidence on her character and her actual involvement in the incident.

Guillen-Avila pleaded guilty to meth possession and delivery, as well as possession of a forged instrument, in July.

“I do not believe she was an innocent victim here,” Adkisson said, allowing her sentencing hearing date to be set for 3 p.m. Oct. 23.

Patridge, in an interview after the hearing, said the street value of the methamphetamine located within the vehicle was more than $1.1 million. He noted, “These are definitely cartel-related drugs.”

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - drugs