Tucson Border Patrol Agents Arrest Felon With Homicide Conviction, 28 Others

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents in Arizona apprehended a group of 29 illegal aliens, including a convicted murderer, near the international border with Mexico the evening of Nov. 17.

Tucson Sector agents observed the group about eight miles north of the border in the Mesquite Mountains, located on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. Agents caught up with the group and wound up arresting one Honduran, three Guatemalan, and 25 Mexican nationals, all illegally present in the United States. The group, all males, ranged in age from 15 to 41.

Records checks revealed one of the Mexican men, 31-year-old Carlos Lopez-Vazquez, was a previously removed felon, convicted of reckless homicide in Marion County, Indiana, in 2010 and sentenced to four years of confinement for his crime.

Carlos Lopez-Vaquez, convicted of homicide
Carlos Lopez-Vaquez, convicted of homicide, arrested after crossing the border

Lopez now faces federal immigration charges. The rest of the group was expelled from the country under Title 42 authority.

All people apprehended by the Border Patrol undergo criminal history checks using biometrics to ensure illegal aliens with criminal histories are positively identified. 

Washington State’s “sanctuary” laws led to murder by illegal alien, immigration reform group says

Kent, Wash. — An illegal alien charged with murder exploited “sanctuary” laws to remain in country despite numerous arrests for criminal conduct, according to an investigation by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI).

Jorge Omar Alcantara-Gonzalez, 34, is a Mexican national who was arrested in June after a multi-county 23-day manhunt in connection with the disappearance of Ian Eckles, who lived in the town of Kent, Wash. Eckles’ body has not been found. Alcantara-Gonzalez was arraigned on June 19 and entered not guilty pleas to second-degree murder and 22 other crimes. He is being held on $3 million bail.

While the case of Eckles’ disappearance is tragic, the circumstances of how Alcantara-Gonzalez managed to remain in the United States for so long are even more disturbing, the IRLI said.

King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office records obtained by IRLI confirm that he had been arrested at least four times in the past several years in the state. Among his charges were driving while intoxicated, theft of a motor vehicle and failure to comply. In every instance, Alcantara-Gonzalez was eventually released back into the community.  A review of court records also reveal that he relied on public defenders each time he faced the justice system.

Wanted poster for Jorge Omar Alcantara-Gonzalez

After each previous arrest, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had issued detainer requests to King County, asking local officials to hold Alcantara-Gonzalez long enough for an ICE agent to arrive at the detention center and assume custody of him. ICE altogether lodged four different detainers on Alcantara-Gonzalez following his arrests. The detainers were ignored each time and he was allowed to go free, released back into the community to commit more crimes.

Despite his presence in the U.S. illegally and his repeated violations of the law, King County officials refused to cooperate with ICE’s request to allow a transfer of custody. Even though they were repeatedly blocked in their previous efforts to deport him, ICE announced  on May 28 it would help local law enforcement  locate Alcantara-Gonzalez after he became a suspect in Eckles’ disappearance.

“This case is a perfect storm of reckless sanctuary policies and a failure to enforce our immigration laws,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “The alleged perpetrator entered the U.S. illegally, re-entered after multiple deportations, committed numerous crimes and was shielded from further deportation. The family of Mr. Eckles are right to be furious about this. If not for sanctuary policies in Washington state, Mr. Eckles would likely be alive today. State and local leaders there have a lot to answer for.”

Welcome, illegal immigrants 8x5

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, signed an executive order in February 2017 that forbids state agencies from enforcing federal immigration law.

Doubling down on this sanctuary measure, Inslee in May 2019 signed into law the “Keep Washington Working Act,” which prohibits jails in the state from holding detainees for federal immigration officials based solely on an ICE detainer or immigration hold. The law is considered one of the most radical sanctuary policies in the country.

“I think it’s absolutely disgusting that a form of government could release somebody like that back into the population after committing crimes in a country that they don’t belong in legally,” Nathan Eckles, Ian’s brother, said to IRLI. “This all could have been avoided so very easily if these cities that have these policies would have just let immigration do their job,” he continued.”

While state law supersedes anything passed at the local level, King County also has in place its own anti-immigration enforcement measures. An ordinance passed in November 2009 prohibits the county sheriff’s office from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status. King County includes the city of Seattle.