‘Basically, I didn’t want a three-peat. I didn’t want him out again, given the allegations against him, to be a threat to the community or to the victim…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) The liberal sheriff of North Carolina‘s Charlotte metropolitan area deflected criticism after being hammered by federal law enforcement and prosecutors for releasing a twice-arrested, violent felon from custody.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers finally arrested Guatemalan native Luis Pineda–Ancheta, 37, on Monday after Charlotte law-enforcement had already twice released the violent offender back into the streets.
The second encounter with Charlotte police resulted in a nine-hour standoff during which Pineda–Ancheta barricaded himself in an apartment after being served warrants for assault by strangulation, kidnapping, assault on a female, communicating threats and violation of a domestic violence protective order.
Although ICE submitted detainer requests, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden, who ran last year on a platform of refusing to cooperate with the federal immigration authority, remained defiant.
Andrew Murray, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, slammed McFadden for refusing to work with ICE.
Murray said he filed a federal complaint after Pineda–Ancheta was released from state custody the second time.
“It’s unfortunate because that mean[s], really, I’m intervening in significant felony charges,” Murray said, according to WBTV.
“Basically, I didn’t want a three-peat. I didn’t want him out again, given the allegations against him, to be a threat to the community or to the victim.”
Murray said he hadn’t spoken with McFadden about the case, but added that McFadden should have communicated with ICE and honored its detainer for the violent illegal.
“I would have certainly preferred, if he was getting out—given the fact that he had significant allegations of serious criminal violent activity—that the sheriff use the tools in his tool box, one of them being simply calling ICE and saying, ‘we’re processing this person out,’” Murray said.
However, McFadden fired back at the criticism, telling NBC affiliate WCNC that a detainer agreement—formally known as a 287(g)—was “off the table.”
Contrary to what ICE has said, the sheriff’s office claimed that they gave the agency a courtesy call any time a possible illegal immigrant was jailed.
McFadden said he was “disappointed” in ICE for assigning the blame to him and that if they sought cooperation they should obtain a federal warrant.
“We do not honor federal detainers, so in other words, you should not fax me a federal detainer,” he said.
McFadden called on the federal officials to iron out their differences personally, rather than in person, although WCNC reported that ICE officials already had met with the sheriff four times since December over the refusal to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
When asked if McFadden is “making Mecklenburg County less safe every time he doesn’t abide by an ICE detainer,” Murray replied: “No doubt in my mind. And somebody’s going to significantly be injured or killed, and given the allegation in this case, it had real potential.”
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.