A previously deported illegal alien accused of killing a 51-year-old American could have been turned over to federal immigration officials and deported, again, if not for California’s sanctuary state law.
Gustavo Garcia, a 36-year-old illegal alien, shot and killed 51-year-old Rocky Paul Jones of Visalia, California, on December 17 at a gas station, Breitbart News reported. Police said surveillance footage revealed Garcia and Jones spoke briefly before the killing, but the two did not know one another.
Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said the illegal alien went on a 24-hour “reign of terror” and “had no regard for human life” before dying in a car accident in the midst of a police chase. That day of “terror” included Garcia allegedly shooting a farm worker, shooting a woman in a parking lot, stealing a vehicle, robbing a gas station, and driving a car down a California highway in the wrong direction.
Just a week before Christmas an American family loses their loved one, 51-year-old Rocky Jones, after he was killed by a previously deported illegal alien. https://t.co/0o7S8Sfapj
— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) December 22, 2018
Boudreaux told ABC30 that his sheriff’s department received a request from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to keep the illegal alien in police custody until he can be properly turned over to ICE officials.
The sheriff’s department was forced to ignore the ICE request, which came just an hour before he was released into the general public where he later killed Jones. California’s sanctuary state law bans local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with ICE in nearly all cases.
“What would be nice is if ICE is able to give us their qualifying reasons as to why that detainer is there, and minimally if we receive that detainer, we should be able to telephone ICE and say can you please give us the qualifying reasons for this detainer,” Boudreaux said.
If Garcia had been turned over to ICE, rather than released from police custody as the state’s sanctuary law requires, he would have been detained and deported by federal immigration officials for the second time.
Garcia was previously deported from the U.S. in 2014 by ICE. Before his first deportation, the illegal alien had a criminal record going back to 2002 where he was charged with crimes like illegal possession of a firearm. Garcia was previously ordered to be deported three times by federal officials.
Now, Jones’ family is mourning his loss and decrying the state’s lax criminal laws.
“You don’t think it’s gonna happen to you or your family or anything like that but by gosh when it does happen, you would hope that there’s laws there that hold people accountable and there’s just not here. There’s just not,” Jones’ brother, Jody, told YourCentralValley.com.
“What has to happen for these criminals to be held accountable?” asks the brother of the man killed overnight in #Visalia by Gustavo Garcia, a convict who went on a tear for 24 hours in Tulare County. pic.twitter.com/41iXSq3ZOb
— Liz González (@LizKMPH) December 18, 2018
“They’re turning felonies into misdemeanors, misdemeanors into infractions and infractions into nothing,” Jones told KMPH. “And who pays for it? We do. The communities.”
“To me, it’s not about gun control to me,” he said. “It’s about holding criminals accountable for their actions.”
Jones leaves behind one daughter and had just turned 51-years-old last month. His family has set up a GoFundMe account to help raise money for his funeral expenses. Their goal is to raise $10,000.