An Oklahoma sheriff’s department defied ICE and released an accused rapist from jail this week — and within hours he was back at the door of his alleged victim, the agency said Thursday, saying the county’s sanctuary policy put the woman at risk.
Antonio Ulises Perez was arrested on suspicion of forcible rape on Sept. 30. He made bond early Wednesday morning. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had asked that he be transferred to the custody of deportation officers, but it said the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department refused and released him instead.
“Within a few hours of being released, this illegal alien was back at the home of the rape victim where he was free to re-victimize her and harm other members of the community,” said Marc Moore, director of ICE’s Dallas field office.
He said deportation officers were able to track Mr. Perez down and he is now in custody awaiting deportation proceedings.
The sheriff’s department, in a statement, said ICE was wrong on several counts.
The department said another agency, not the sheriff’s department, made the arrest. And while Mr. Perez was booked on suspicion of rape, he was never formally charged, the department said.
Beyond that, the sheriff’s department said it does try to cooperate with ICE and even allows space in its jail for agents. The department said ICE didn’t have a warrant to justify holding Mr. Lopez for pickup but said they did alert ICE of his impending release.
“ICE had an hour and a half to take the individual into custody but did not send anyone to pick up the individual before his scheduled release, and without any legal authority to hold the individual he was released,” the sheriff’s office said.
They said ICE should keep someone at the jail around the clock to prevent any lapses.
ICE says the county adopted a sanctuary policy in the past few months, ending its cooperation with ICE officers who place detainer requests asking to be notified of the impending release of illegal immigrants who’ve been booked into its jails. In some cases, detainers are also used to ask local officials to hold illegal immigrants up to 48 hours for ICE to come pick them up.
ICE says it’s a courtesy every department in the country respects for the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies — but doesn’t always do so in the case of ICE.
“It is unconscionable that someone who is sworn to uphold the law would find it acceptable to release an alleged rapist who is illegally present in the U.S. back into the community when there are other options available under federal immigration law,” Mr. Moore said.
The new case comes on the heels of a report in The Washington Times about sanctuary policies in the Seattle area that resulted in the release, multiple times, of an illegal immigrant who now stands accused of a gang-involved murder.
Carlos Daniel Carillo-Lopez was in custody of Bellevue, Washington, police in March, but was released by the city’s contracted jail in defiance of an ICE detainer request. A few weeks later, authorities say, he and fellow gang members killed a friend of his after the friend’s girlfriend posted a Snapchat photo where she was making a rival gang’s signs with her fingers.
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