‘Safe haven’: 20 illegals arrested in North Carolina sanctuary county released despite ICE detainers

by WorldTribune Staff, August 19, 2019

The case of Oscar Pacheco-Leonardo is indicative of the largest sanctuary county in North Carolina’s frequent release of illegals charged with heinous crimes, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says.

On June 14, Pacheco-Leonardo, a 33-year-old illegal immigrant from Honduras, was arrested by Mecklenburg County police and charged with one count of first-degree rape and two counts of indecent liberties with a child. Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city, is in Mecklenburg County.

Oscar Pacheco-Leonardo. / Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office

On June 15, ICE placed a detainer on the illegal immigrant. On June 16, Mecklenburg police released Pacheco-Leonardo, allowing him to run free for nearly two months before being arrested by ICE agents.

In the past nine months, ICE said that 20 illegal immigrants who had been recently arrested by Mecklenburg County law enforcement were released back into the local community despite having an ICE detainer lodged against them. The majority of those 20 illegals released by sanctuary Mecklenburg remain at-large.

“The Mecklenburg County sheriff’s decision to restrict cooperation with ICE serves as an open invitation to aliens who commit criminal offenses, that Mecklenburg County is a safe haven for persons seeking to evade federal authorities, and residents of Mecklenburg County are less safe today than last year due to these policies,” ICE official Sean Gallagher said in a statement.

Research by North Carolinians For Immigration Reform and Enforcement (NCFIRE.info) notes that, in the last one and a half years, more than 330 illegal immigrants have been charged with nearly 1,200 child sex crimes in North Carolina, The Epoch Times reported last month.

Over the last four and a half years, NCFIRE’s research states that an average of 34 illegals are charged with sex crimes every month in North Carolina.

In Pacheco-Leonardo’s case, he had already been deported from the U.S. in July 2006. Sometime after this date, he re-entered through the southern border — a felony under federal law.

ICE issued a list of recent declined detainer examples in Mecklenburg County:

• A 31-year-old citizen of Honduras, who was previously removed by ICE in June 2009, was arrested by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office in February 2019 for sex offenses and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In February 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in February 2019. In March 2019, he was arrested at-large in Charlotte and is currently detained in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.

• A 30-year-old citizen of Mexico was arrested by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in March 2019 for breaking and entering a motor vehicle, larceny, simple assault, among other charges, and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In March 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in March 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 30-year-old citizen of Honduras was arrested by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in August 2018 for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In August 2018, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored and he was released in March 2019 and remains at-large. He was convicted of a lesser charge in March 2019.

• A 40-year-old citizen of Guatemala was arrested in October 2018 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for multiple counts of indecent liberties with a child, rape, among other sex offenses, and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In October 2018, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in March 2019. In March 2019, he was arrested at-large by ICE officers in Charlotte and is currently detained in ICE custody pending a hearing before an immigration judge.

• A 42-year-old citizen of Honduras, who was ordered removed by an immigration judge in August 2013, was arrested in March 2019 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for gun and drug charges and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In March 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and she was released in March 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 33-year-old citizen of Sri Lanka, who was ordered removed by an immigration judge in September 2009, was arrested in February 2019 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department on multiple counts of felony and misdemeanor larceny and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In February 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in March 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 47-year-old citizen of Honduras, who was removed from the United States in February 2014, was arrested in February 2019 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for assault by strangulation, among other charges, and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In February 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in March 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 22-year-old citizen of Honduras, who was ordered removed by an immigration judge in April 2015, was arrested in March 2019 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for assault by strangulation, assault on a female, and communicating threats, and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In March 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in March 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 30-year-old citizen of Liberia was arrested in March 2019 by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office for multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In March 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in March 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 30-year-old citizen of Mexico, who was previously removed from the United States in January 2007 and April 2016, was arrested in March 2019 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department as a fugitive and for gun charges and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In March 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in March 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 27-year-old citizen of Afghanistan was arrested in March 2019 by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office for stalking and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In March 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in March 2019. In April 2019, he was arrested at-large by ICE officers in Charlotte and is currently detained in ICE custody pending a hearing before an immigration judge.

• A 30-year-old citizen of Mexico was arrested by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in December 2018 for sex offenses involving a child and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In December 2018, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in January 2019. In April 2019, he was arrested at-large by ICE officers in Charlotte and is currently detained in ICE custody pending a hearing before an immigration judge.

• A 27-year-old citizen of El Salvador was arrested in April 2019 by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office for assault by strangulation and assault on a female and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In April 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in April 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 38-year-old citizen of Guatemala, previously removed from the United States in June 2009, was arrested in February 2019 by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office for multiple charges, including kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflict serious injury and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In March 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in April 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 19-year-old citizen of Honduras, who was ordered removed by an immigration judge in April 2017, was arrested in April 2019 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for assault and injury to real property and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In April 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in April 2019 and remains at-large. He was previously encountered in August 2018 when he was detained at the Mecklenburg County Jail for the charges of robbery and breaking and entering a motor vehicle, and felony conspiracy. The Mecklenburg County Jail declined to honor that ICE detainer, and he was released in December 2018.

• A 30-year-old citizen of India was arrested in April 2019 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for multiple assault charges and first degree burglary and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In April 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored and he was released in April 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 37-year-old citizen of Honduras, who was removed from the United States in December 2006, was arrested March 2019 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for multiple charges including assault on a female, felony larceny, simple assault, among other charges, and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In May 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in May 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 21-year-old citizen of Honduras, who was ordered removed by an immigration judge in August 2018, was arrested in December 2018 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for breaking and entering a motor vehicle and larceny and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In December 2018, the Pacific Enforcement Response Center issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in December 2018. He was arrested again in January 2019 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon and was booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail. In January 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored for the second time, and he was released in May 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 23-year-old citizen of Honduras, who was ordered removed by an immigration judge in May 2018, was arrested in May 2019 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for multiple charges including assault and larceny and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In May 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and she was released in May 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 25-year-old citizen of Mexico was arrested in May 2019 by the Mint Hill Police Department for DWI and drug charges and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In May 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in May 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 19-year-old citizen of Honduras was arrested in May 2019 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for indecent liberties with child and was booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. In May 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in May 2019 and remains at-large.

• A 28-year-old citizen of Mexico was arrested in May 2019 by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for assault by strangulation, assault on a female and communicating threats and booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte. He also has pending narcotics and gun charges stemming from an arrest made by Wilson County in August 2018. In May 2019, ICE ERO issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released in May 2019 and remains at-large.


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