An illegal alien accused of killing three people in Missouri was previously detained on domestic violence charges in New Jersey before officials released him, immigration authorities said.
Luis Rodrigo Perez, 23, a Mexican national, faces multiple murder charges for fatally shooting two men and wounding two other people on November 1, and then fatally shooting a woman the following day, NJ.com reported Friday.
Perez had been arrested on domestic violence charges and was taken to Middlesex County Jail in New Jersey in December 2017, but jail officials released him in February.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Executive Associate Director Corey Price said Friday that federal immigration officials placed a detainer on Perez while in the New Jersey jail, but jail officials did not honor the request and did not let ICE know when he was released.
“Yet again, an ICE detainer was ignored and a dangerous criminal alien was released to the streets and is now charged with killing three people,” Price said in a statement. “Had ICE’s detainer request in December 2017 been honored by Middlesex County Jail, Luis Rodrigo Perez would have been placed in deportation proceedings and likely sent home to his country – and three innocent people might be alive today.”
“It is past time that localities realize the perils of dangerous sanctuary policies and resume their primary goal of protecting their residents,” Price added.
But Middlesex County officials say its ICE’s fault the detainer was not honored because the agency’s request did not meet specific criteria.
“This order would have authorized Middlesex County to turn over custody of Mr. Perez prior to, or upon completion of his sentence,” county officials told the Associated Press. “Instead ICE officials chose to do nothing, which places all responsibility of Mr. Perez’s actions squarely upon ICE.”
County officials added that ICE never requested to deport Perez while he was in jail.
Middlesex County said began honoring ICE detainer requests last year if inmates had been convicted of first or second-degree offenses or ordered by a federal judge to be deported.
ICE had slammed Middlesex County in the past for their “sanctuary” policies, especially after the federal immigration agency arrested 37 criminal illegal aliens in the area in July.
When ICE officials conducted the five-day sweep of the area, they found 16 of the criminal illegal aliens they arrested had been released from the Middlesex County Jail.