The Judiciary Committees of the U.S. House and Senate have demanded answers from the Department of Homeland Security after the DOJ declined to prosecute a Mexican national following his fourth deportation and re-entry into the U.S.
The announcement followed Breitbart Texas’ revelation that the Department of Justice declined prosecution of a four-time deported Mexican national who returned to commit a series of rapes and assaults on women in Austin, Texas.
Breitbart Texas reported on September 10 that the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas had declined a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) agents to prosecute Nicondemo Coria-Gonzales for illegal re-entry. The Mexican national returned to the U.S. numerous times after being deported following his conviction on three separate charges of Driving While Intoxicated.
“In July 2015, this office declined to file charges against Coria-Gonzales for illegal reentry,” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Richard Durbin Jr. confirmed in a written response to Breitbart Texas’ questions. “Based on the information presented regarding his criminal history at the time, which was incomplete, the office determined that removing him promptly from the United States was the preferable to prosecuting him to secure a relatively short prison sentence.”
“ICE in fact removed him within three days,” Durban stated. “We learned additional information about the defendant’s criminal history for the first time today. The decision not to prosecute him at the time was based on an evaluation of the information presented at the time.”
Durbin’s claim that the information his office received from ERO agents was incomplete was disputed by former Deputy Assistant Secretary/Deputy Director of ICE Alonzo Peña who spoke with Breitbart Texas on Saturday. “ICE did its job,” Peña stated. He said sources within the agency said the DOJ was presented a complete history when ICE asked for prosecution. “If they needed or wanted more information, they would ask for it,” Peña concluded.
Following this disclosure by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the dispute by former director Peña, U.S. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and U.S. Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) wrote a letter Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson demanding information about the facts surrounding Coria-Gonzales’ arrests and deportations.
“It is astonishing that Coria-Gonzales has been deported at least five times by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to investigators,” the chairmen wrote in the letter obtained by Breitbart Texas (attached below). “ICE reports that Coria-Gonzales was previously convicted of criminal charges, including three charges of driving while intoxicated. Police say that Coria-Gonzales has confessed to several of the crimes and media reports indicate that he has admitted that he beat the victims out of anger. We want to know how such a dangerous individual could be allowed to continually reenter the country illegally and continue his criminal conduct without intervention by ICE.”
The letter cites the background information revealed in the Breitbart Texas article over the weekend, that Coria-Gonzales had been convicted three times of DWI and had been deported on multiple occasions only to return to commit these more violent offenses. “He is currently charged with six felony offenses, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and aggravated kidnapping,” the chairmen wrote. “According to news reports, Coria-Gonzales was arrested after allegedly kidnapping a woman and attempting to light her on fire using gasoline. Additionally, Coria-Gonzales allegedly kidnapped and raped a 68-year old woman.” These offenses were originally reported by Austin local media outlets.
The chairmen requested answers to the following questions be provided by the Department of Homeland Security no later than September 21:
- The alien registration number for Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales, his complete alien file (A-file), including any temporary files, working files, or Service Center files, and all documents and items contained in them, all documents generated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or in its possession about him, whether currently in written or electronic form, including, but not limited to, the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Executive Summary, criminal history and immigration summaries, detainers or requests for notification, I-213(s), and Notice(s) to Appear or other charging documents created to seek his removal from the United States.
- Please identify and explain each and every encounter that DHS or any of its agencies has had with Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales, including the date of the encounter, whether the encounter resulted in detention or the issuance of a detainer or request for notification, whether the encounter resulted in the initiation of removal proceedings or reinstatement of a prior removal order against him, and the current status of those removal proceedings or reinstatement.
- Please identify each and every date on which Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales was arrested by a law enforcement agency in the United States, including criminal and civil arrests, the nature of the charges, the jurisdictions where the arrests occurred, the dispositions of the charges, the dates on which he was released from the custody of the law enforcement agencies, and the reasons for the release.
- If a local law enforcement agency declines to honor a detainer or notify ICE regarding Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales, what action will DHS take to ensure that he is not released from custody and allowed to reoffend?
- Did Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales ever apply for any immigration benefit, including deferred action? If so, was any application approved? Please provide copies of any applications that Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales may have submitted, whether or not adjudicated.
- Is Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales a member of, or associated with any criminal gang? Please explain.
- If Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales had been encountered by DHS enforcement officials prior to his recent arrest for sexual assault, would he have met the requirements to be considered a priority for removal under the Administration’s Priority Enforcement Program? If so, please provide the exact reason for such consideration. If not, why not?
- Have any victims associated with the crimes allegedly committed by Nicodemo Coria-Gonzales been contacted by officials at ICE? Please provide details.
This story has been updated.