U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested a Mexican national Wednesday after he was released from custody in New York City when a detainer lodged with New York authorities was not honored.
According to ICE officials, the man has prior convictions for robbery in the first degree and forcible theft armed with a deadly weapon and had previously been removed from the U.S. in 2007.
Luis Alejandro Villegas, 31, was released from local custody Dec. 31, 2016, after being detained for driving while intoxicated.
Villegas has a previous criminal conviction for which he served five years’ imprisonment. Following his prison term, Villegas was removed from the United States pursuant to a final order of removal.
ICE filed the detainer on Dec. 31, 2016, with the New York Police Department in Manhattan, where Villegas was detained awaiting DWI charges.
However, he was released from the city of New York’s custody after authorities declined to honor the detainer.
ICE officials said, “A criminal warrant was subsequently issued by the Southern District of New York (SDNY) for the illegal reentry of a removed alien. ICE officers arrested Villegas Jan. 25 at the intersection of 111th Street and Park Avenue in New York. He was processed and later transported to federal court for an appearance before a judge. He is now in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service with charges pending.”
Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York said:
“Villegas is a criminal alien who was released back into our New York communities, posing an increased and unnecessary risk to those who live in this great city. This level of risk can be mitigated in many instances and ICE welcomes changes to the current policy which is creating a potentially unsafe environment for the city’s residents. ICE is committed to strengthening its relationship with local law enforcement in the interest of public safety and national security while preserving the critical community-police bond.”
In a recent interview, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that “DWI is a minor offense,” and that he would not honor a federal detainer for someone charged with that specific charge.
SEE RELATED STORY: NYC Mayor Makes Stunning Statement on Illegal Aliens Driving Drunk
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