ICE: Illegal immigrant released by ‘sanctuary’ charged with triple murder
An illegal immigrant released by a “sanctuary city” county in New Jersey was charged this week with a triple homicide halfway across the country in Missouri, authorities said Friday.
Luis Rodrigo Perez stands accused of being the gunman in a shooting spree last week that claimed the lives of two men and one woman, at two different homes.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it tried to deport Perez after he was arrested on domestic violence charges in Middlesex County, New Jersey, last year. But the county, which has a non-cooperation policy with ICE, refused to alert the feds when it released Perez in February of this year, ICE said.
“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,” said Corey Price, acting ICE executive associate director.
John Tsoukaris, ICE’s deportation operations field director in Newark, New Jersey, called Middlesex County’s policy “reckless.”
He said Perez had a history of violence and would have been a clear candidate for cooperation.
“We hope that this tragic turn of events forces Middlesex to reconsider its policy and that the local elected officials stop protecting criminal aliens,” he said.
Middlesex Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios wasn’t available for comment but he told New Brunswick Today, a local media outlet, earlier this year that the county objects to being labeled a sanctuary.
He said the county jail will “sometimes” cooperate with ICE, pointing to instances when there is a previous conviction of a “first or second degree offense” or if an illegal immigrant already has a final order of removal lodged.
Police in Missouri say Perez attacked a home which he had been kicked out of. The victims could be heard “begging for their lives,” The Associated Press reported, citing charging documents.
Perez later returned and fired on yet another person, authorities said.
Perez still had outstanding warrants from New Jersey, The Associated Press reported.