NC Sanctuary Sheriff Blames ICE, Judges for Release of Alleged Child-Rapist

‘ICE chose to issue voluntary ICE administrative detainers on Pacheco–Leonardo, knowing that it is against MCSO’s policy to honor such detainers…’

Urban Areas Nix ICE Partnerships for Criminal Aliens, As Rural Areas Join Up

Charlotte Sheriff Gary McFadden/IMAGE: Garry Mcfadden 4Sherrif via Youtube

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry L. McFadden is on defense yet again for the politically motivated decision to release a dangerous criminal back into the community.

McFadden, whose county encompasses the city of Charlotte, defended his office’s sanctuary policy after it led to the release of a previously deported illegal alien who is charged with first-degree rape and two counts of indecent liberties with a child.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) arrested and charged 33-year-old Oscar Pacheco–Leonardo on June 14.

But “[u]pon fulfilling his court-ordered terms and conditions of release, including the payment of a $100,000 bond, Pacheco–Leonardo was released from Detention Center Central on June 16 as required by law,” McFadden said, according to WBTV.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement submitted a detainer with the county on June 15, but it was ignored due to McFadden’s policy not to cooperate with ICE.

ICE re-arrested Pacheco–Leonardo on Aug. 9.

In June, McFadden drew backlash for having released a violent Honduran national facing several charges related to domestic battery.

Luis Pineda–Ancheta then engaged in a nine-hour standoff with law enforcement after barricading himself in an apartment. Although taken into custody, he was again released, despite a detainer request, forcing ICE to locate and re-arrest him a third time.

Republicans in the state Senate voted in response to approve House Bill 370, which would force sheriffs of several cities in defiance of federal immigration agreements to cooperate or be held accountable.

The bill is currently in committee in the state’s House of Representatives. However, it faces a likely veto from Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper.

While it garnered the support of the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, McFadden—who is black—claimed the bill was racially motivated.

Once again, after his latest public-relations flap, McFadden attempted to deflect blame for Pacheco–Leonardo’s release onto both ICE, for following improper procedures; and on Mecklenburg County judges and magistrates, who determined bond amount and conditions of release.

“At the time of Pacheco-Leonardo’s arrest, MCSO had no knowledge that he was previously deported in July 2006,” McFadden said. “However, that information was readily available to ICE.”

As he has in the past, McFadden said it was up to ICE to obtain a federal warrant, noting that it is a federal felony to re-enter the United States after having been previously deported.

“ICE chose to issue voluntary ICE administrative detainers on Pacheco–Leonardo, knowing that it is against MCSO’s policy to honor such detainers,” McFadden said. “Based upon Pacheco–Leonardo’s previous deportation, ICE could have but did NOT seek a criminal arrest warrant for Illegal Re-Entry.”

Following Pacheco–Leonardo’s release, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said he planned to schedule the House vote on HB370.

“Why are we turning a rapist loose on the street anyway?” Moore said. “That makes no sense, and that’s why we’re going to fight very hard to get passage of this bill. We believe it will pass, and we hope the governor will sign it.”

Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.