Feds Bust Mexican Murder Suspect Wanted in Sanctuary City

Van Wisse Arrested
Photo: Austin Police Department

Federal officers busted a Mexican national at the border who is wanted by police in the sanctuary city of Austin, Texas. The murder suspect is on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list.

Robert Francis Van Wisse, 51, a Mexican national, approached the international border at the Laredo Port of Entry when he was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the pedestrian crossing. An initial check on the man fit the description of a man who was listed on the FBI’s top-ten list. The officers escorted Wisse to a secondary inspection station for further evaluation. A biometric background check confirmed his identity as the man wanted for a murder in Travis County, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from CBP officials.

After confirming the man’s identity and the validity of the outstanding murder warrant, the man was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI for transport to Travis County.

The new Travis County sheriff recently announce her office would no longer be cooperating with federal immigration detainers, Breitbart Texas reported. Texas Governor Greg Abbott quickly responded to her refusal to follow the rule of law by threatening to withhold state law enforcement grants.

“As Sheriff your primary duty is to ensure the safety of the residents of Travis County,” Abbott wrote in a letter to Sheriff Sally Hernandez. “However, your recent policy directive forbidding Travis County Sherriff’s Office (TCSO) employees from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) (except in the most limited of circumstances) betrays your oath and the residents of Travis County. I strongly urge you to reverse that policy before its effective date of February 1, 2017.”

Sheriff Hernandez, dubbed “Sanctuary Sally” by her recent political opponent, said she would be selective about what immigration detainers her department would honor. She appears to expect the federal government to honor the warrants issued in her county’s courts.

“CBP officers remain vigilant in intercepting travelers with outstanding warrants,”  Laredo Port of Entry Port Director Gregory Alvarez said in a written statement. “This arrest demonstrates our CBP officers’ vigilance and dedication to securing the homeland and keeping our communities safe.”

Van Wisse is accused of a 1983 murder when 22-year-old Laurie Stout was killed, Breitbart Texas reported when he initially made the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted list. Van Wisse was 18 at the time he allegedly committed the murder. “No matter how much time has passed,” Special Agent Justin Noble, a member of the FBI’s Central Texas Violent Crimes Task Force in Austin who is investigating the case, said in a written statement in December, “it’s important that we finally get justice for the victim and her family.”

The young woman’s body was found in a restroom in the building where Van Wisse had been seen registering for a class the night before. An autopsy performed by Travis County officials revealed the woman had been sexually assaulted. She was then strangled with a wire.

Van Wisse fled to Mexico in 1996 when he learned he was a suspect in the homicide.

Stout’s daughter Daile was 18-months-old when Van Wisse allegedly raped and murdered her mother. “I don’t really know what it feels like, like I spent a very long time thinking that this moment would never happen,” she told KXAN after his arrest.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.


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