‘Because they were released in spite of the lawful detainer, they were afforded an opportunity to take a life…’
(Brian Freimuth, Liberty Headlines) Two Salvadoran MS-13 gang members in the country illegally are charged with killing a young girl, despite a previous arrest last year for attempted murder and other serious felonies.
Last week, Maryland police arrested Josue Rafael Fuentes, 16, and Joel Ernesto Escobar, 17, for the murder of 14-year-old Ariana Funes–Diaz, whose body was found in a creek.
Both are now being held in custody for the second time by Prince George’s County Detention Center.
Fuentes and Escobar were previously arrested in May 2018 for attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, participation in gang activity, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted robbery and other related charges.
However, despite receiving a detainer request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the two illegal aliens, liberal county officials chose to release them at an unknown date and time without notifying ICE.
PGCDC Jail Director Mary Lou McDonough said it was the county’s normal policy not to cooperate.
“A detainer is not a warrant … it’s actually a request for localities to hold inmates,” she said in a press conference.
Ultimately, the decision to put politics ahead of the law resulted in the senseless death, said Diane Witte, ICE’s Baltimore field office director, in a statement.
“As law enforcement officers, we must continue to serve and protect the American public and act in the interest of public safety first,” said Witte.
“These individuals had demonstrated violent criminal behavior before, and because they were released in spite of the lawful detainer, they were afforded an opportunity to take a life,” she said.
Maryland is not a sanctuary state yet, but Democrats in Maryland’s legislature have attempted to pass sanctuary laws in the past.
Fuentes entered the U.S. through Texas in a family group in 2015 and was allowed to stay on parole until the group’s immigration case was resolved. Though an immigration judge ordered that Fuentes be deported in 2017, he remained in the U.S.
Escobar entered the U.S. through Texas in 2016 and was deemed an unlawfully present unaccompanied juvenile by immigration authorities. The Office of Refugee Resettlement took custody of Escobar and later released him to a family in the Washington, DC, area in 2016.
ICE has again issued detainers for the custody of Fuentes and Escobar, but activist local authorities could potentially set these criminals free again.