SF Sheriff Specifically Asked for Killer’s Transfer to SF

Ross Mirkarimi (Ben Margot / Associated Press)
Ben Margot / Associated Press

New information in case of the July 1 shooting death of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco reveals that the San Francisco’s Sheriff’s Department specifically requested the transfer of five-time deportee, seven-time convicted felon Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez to their custody upon release from federal prison on the basis of a drug charge that the Sheriff has since told reporters the city almost never prosecutes.

Lopez-Sanchez was scheduled for release from federal prison in southern California in March. Given that information, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began processing a reinstatement of removal order for the five-time deportee, Breitbart News previously reported.

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department was also alerted to Lopez-Sanchez’s impending release from federal Bureau of Prisons custody in March, according to a Sheriff’s department letter obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle. Noting Lopez-Sanchez had a 20-year-old bench warrant on possession-for-sale of marijuana, on March 23 the Sheriff’s department requested notification when Lopez-Sanchez was “ready for our pickup.”

Sheriff Mirkarimi told reporters, “we don’t even prosecute marijuana in San Francisco basically.” It is unclear, therefore, why the Sheriff’s department would request transfer of Lopez-Sanchez on a warrant for charges authorities had no intention of pursuing.

Lopez-Sanchez was transferred from the federal Bureau of Prisons in Victorville, California to San Francisco Sheriffs’ department custody on March 26.

A court dismissed Lopez-Sanchez’s charges the day after he arrived in San Francisco, March 27.

It was not until after Lopez-Sanchez was delivered to San Francisco County custody that ICE was notified of the transfer. ICE then issued a detention request for Lopez-Sanchez. That request simply asked for notification prior to Lopez-Sanchez’s release, not that he be detained for an extended period of time.

San Francisco sanctuary city and Sheriff’s department policies specifically deny all such detainer requests unless backed by a court order or warrant.

Lopez-Sanchez was released from custody in San Francisco on April 15. The delay was due to conflicting data on whether he had served out all of a prior prison sentence.

Just two-and-a-half months after Lopez-Sanchez was released, on July 1 Kathryn Steinle was shot and killed. Lopez-Sanchez confessed in a jailhouse interview, but later pled not guilty in court.

Lopez-Sanchez said that he chose to reside in San Francisco due to its “sanctuary city: policy, knowing the city’s lack of cooperation with immigration officials and enforcement.

A press conference with Sheriff Mirkarimi to “set the record straight with facts on the release of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez” was scheduled for July 9, but later cancelled because it would coincide with Steinle’s funeral services.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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