An undocumented immigrant living in “sanctuary” county in New Jersey is charged killing three people in Missouri earlier this month, and ICE is slamming the county for not giving alert when he was released from jail previously on a domestic violence charge.
The Washington Times reports Luis Rodrigo Perez, 23, was arrested on domestic violence charges in December 2017. When he was released from jail a few months later, Middlesex County reportedly didn’t inform U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), despite the agency notifying the county it placed a detainer to deport Perez.
“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,” acting ICE executive associate director, Corey Price, said.
— ICE (@ICEgov) November 9, 2018
In a Friday statement, John Tsoukaris, head of the agency’s Newark field office, called New Jersey’s policy of “sanctuary city” county as being “reckless.”
“This tragedy might have been avoided had it not been for the reckless policy required of the Middlesex County Jail by their county officials.”
Perez is accused with traveling with an accomplice Aaron Anderson,19, to a home in Springfield, Missouri, and killing two former roommates, Steven Marler, 38, and Aaron Hampton, 23, according to NJ.com.
Anderson, whose been charged with accomplice to first-degree murder and three additional felonies, told authorities he waited outside in a vehicle while Perez went into the Missouri home. Anderson reportedly said he heard the victims begging for their lives before being shot.
Perez then reportedly went to a different home and shot family member, 21-year-old Sabrina Starr, six times. All three victims died.
Perez’s girlfriend, Dalia Garcia, 23, has been charged with tampering with evidence, according to FOX News. She’s accused of burning evidence after the killings.
Middlesex County officials announced that the county orders deportation detainers if the suspect has a first or second-degree conviction, or if a federal judge signs a Final Order of Deportation.
“ICE has the legal authority and the resources to secure such orders from a federal judge with regard to any inmate in the county’s custody it seeks to detain or deport,” county officials wrote.
County officials also said ICE had 51 days while Perez was in jail to obtain a deportation order, which they would have honored.
“Instead ICE officials chose to do nothing, which places all responsibility of Mr. Perez’s actions squarely upon ICE,” the county said.
“It is past time that localities realize the perils of dangerous sanctuary policies and resume their primary goal of protecting their residents.”
[Feature Photo: Louis Perez/Police Handout]