An illegal alien from Mexico sits in a North Carolina jail after allegedly setting fire to an apartment complex to get revenge on an ex-girlfriend. The fire left 130 residents homeless.
Police arrested Jesus Reyes Lopez, 20, after he reportedly started a fire at the Woodscape Apartments in Charlotte, North Carolina late last week. The fire damaged 40 apartment units and drove 130 people from their homes, the Charlotte Observer reported.
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office uncovered Lopez’s immigration status utilizing equipment and training provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the 287(g) program. The program allows access to ICE databases to aid in identifying illegal immigrants and other possible security threats. Sheriff Irwin Carmichael told the local newspaper this program makes both his staff and the community safer. ICE officials placed an immigration hold on the Mexican national to prevent him being released back into the community.
Lopez now faces two counts of attempted murder, arson, and damage to property by use of an incendiary device, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department posted on its Facebook page.
Sheriff Carmichael praised the 278(g) program. He said that information obtained by utilizing federal immigration resources has uncovered illegal aliens wanted for felony child abuse, murder, and possessing a weapon of mass destruction.
Residents of the apartment complex were lucky to escape the fire with their lives. Some families jumped from second and third story windows to escape from the fire.
The local chapter of the American Red Cross is working to find homes for the 130 displaced residents.
The fire, allegedly started by Lopez, reportedly started to target his ex-girlfriend and then got out of control. Officials estimated the fire caused more than $1.3 million in damages.