Federal immigration agents lodged a detainer in December 2016 against the man accused of attacking two women in Northeast Portland this week, officials said.
When Sergio Jose Martinez was held in the Multnomah County Jail on Dec. 7, 2016, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement requested local authorities notify the agency prior to releasing him, spokeswoman Virginia Kice said in a statement to The Oregonian/OregonLive on Friday.
Martinez has been deported 20 times, according to Multnomah County court documents. He has a lengthy criminal record that includes several convictions in Oregon and burglary convictions in other states, according to court documents and the immigration agency.
Local authorities released Martinez on Dec. 8, 2016 without notifying immigration authorities, Kice said.
Oregon law prohibits public agencies from spending money, using equipment or enlisting personnel to enforce federal immigration law.
Lt. Chad Gaidos, a spokesman for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, which operates the jail, referred The Oregonian/OregonLive to the agency’s policy on immigration detainers.
“MCSO is committed to ensuring we comply with all federal and state laws that govern local public safety agencies with regard to enforcement of immigration policies,” he said in an email.
State law prohibits local law enforcement from using agency resources to enforce federal immigration law.
In a September 2016 declaration, Sheriff Mike Reese said the sheriff’s office follows the Federal District Court of Oregon’s direction, which prohibits local jails from enforcing federal immigration detainers.
In February, the sheriff’s office opened an investigation into whether county policies were violated when immigration agents arrested a man at an appointment with sheriff’s deputies.
Martinez is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her Northeast Portland home on Monday morning, then stealing her credit cards and car. Police say he attacked another woman in a parking garage later that day.
He is charged with several crimes including first-degree robbery, sex abuse and robbery and second-degree assault.
Deportation officers have lodged an immigration detainer against Martinez.
— Samantha Matsumoto
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