A suspect charged with murdering his 19-year-old girlfriend in August is an illegal alien living in the United States who was previously freed by the sanctuary county of Durham, North Carolina, Breitbart News has learned.
Jose Bryan Guzman, an 18-year-old illegal alien from El Salvador, is accused of murdering 19-year-old Marlene Yamileth Portillo-Posada — who he was apparently dating at the time — on August 24 by strangling her to death because Guzman believed Portillo-Posada was cheating on him.
After fleeing to Louisiana in September, the Durham Police Department and St. Landry’s Parish Sheriff’s Office were able to locate and arrest Guzman.
A law enforcement source confirmed to Breitbart News that Guzman is an illegal alien who arrived in the U.S. around September 2015 and was given a notice to appear in immigration court by Border Patrol. It is likely that Guzman arrived as an Unaccompanied Alien Child (UAC) and was thus released into the interior of the country.
As of this year, Guzman remains in deportation proceedings.
In December 2018, Guzman was arrested by the Durham Police Department after allegedly robbing two victims at gunpoint in separate incidents. The same month as the armed robberies, Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead announced that he was ending all cooperation with ICE, turning the region into a sanctuary jurisdiction.
Subsequently, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency requested that the sanctuary county of Durham County hold Guzman until he could be properly turned over to agents.
Instead, Durham County officials ignored ICE’s request and released him into the general public in March — six months before he allegedly murdered his girlfriend. In a statement to Breitbart News, an ICE official said that agents “will again seek to take custody” of Guzman “should he be released from local custody for any reason.”
Guzman’s case is the latest in a series of North Carolina sanctuary counties where hundreds of criminal illegal aliens are released into the general public every year rather than being turned over to ICE for arrest and deportation.
In Fiscal Year 2019, North Carolina sanctuary jurisdictions freed about 563 illegal aliens from custody instead of turning them over to ICE agents. Of those illegal aliens released, more than 500 have been convicted of crimes, including 28 convicted of assault, 192 convicted on traffic violations, 84 convicted of drunk driving, 46 convicted of possession of drugs, and 35 convicted of larceny.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.