ICE arrests alleged sexual predator who was twice released by Philly police

by WorldTribune Staff, December 1, 2019

An illegal immigrant who is a suspect in a long list of sex crimes against children was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after being released twice by Philadelphia police.

On two different occasions, the Philadelphia Police Department arrested Hector Moran-Espinoza on charges relating to the sexual abuse of children. Both times, ICE lodged detainer requests. Philly ignored the requests and released Moran-Espinoza both times.

ICE said its agents arrested Moran-Espinoza, a Guatemalan national living in the U.S. illegally, on Nov. 27.

“We are seeing politicians put their political agendas above the safety of the citizens they serve,” ICE Philadelphia Field Office Director Simona Flores-Lund said in a statement released Friday. “The victims in this case are young children, whose lives are now forever changed. This monster was released not once, but twice, without notifying ICE. We are committed to strengthening our relationship with local law enforcement, as we want nothing more than to keep our communities safe.”

Philadelphia police first arrested Moran-Espinoza on April 2 for a list of charges which included: involuntary deviate sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion, unlawful contact with a minor-sexual offenses, statuary sexual assault, endangering the welfare of children-parent or guardian commits offense, indecent assault-without the consent of other person, rape by forceable compulsion, sexual abuse of children-photographing, videotaping, depicting on a computer or filming sexual acts, aggravated indecent assault without consent, corruption of minors, and reckless endangerment of another person.

ICE said its Philadelphia Enforcement and Removal Operations lodged an immigration detainer on the same day of Moran-Espinoza’s arrest, asking Philly police to hold onto him temporarily until ICE agents could arrive at the detention center and make an apprehension. The police chose to ignore the request and released Moran-Espinoza, according to ICE.

Moran-Espinoza was arrested again on May 9 for unlawful contact with a minor-sexual offenses, indecent assault of a person under 13 years of age, reckless endangerment of another person, corruption of minors, and endangering the welfare of a child-parent or guardian commits offense.

Again, ICE lodged a detainer request on the same day of his arrest, but local authorities refused to honor it — releasing Moran-Espinoza back into the community for a second time, according to ICE.

“By releasing a criminal with multiple offenses, the Philadelphia Police Department is putting their city at risk by letting this individual roam free to potentially harm the most vulnerable, our children,” an ICE statement released on Nov. 29 said.

On two other occasions in recent months, Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) has arrested and then released illegal immigrants accused of heinous crimes against children.

The PPD arrested Ervin Urrutia-Sagastume, an illegal from Guatemala, on Nov. 12 on charges of sexual abuse against children. The department chose to ignore a detainer lodged by ICE, and released Urrutia-Sagastume back into the community without notifying the agency. He was apprehended by ICE a week later.

Jesus Romero-Bisos, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was arrested by the PPD on Oct. 17 on charges of rape and other sexual abuse allegations against a minor. Like the previous cases, PPD did not honor an ICE detainer, and released Romero-Bisos back into the community. ICE was able to arrest him in early November.

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