Los Angeles, CA:
A man charged with setting a fire that killed five people at a vacant building was in the Unites States illegally, and was arrested for drug possession days before the blaze.
Johnny Sanchez, 21, is being held on five counts of murder while prosecutors consider whether or not to seek the death penalty.
It is alleged that Johnny Sanchez, who was homeless, set the blaze Monday after having a fight with other homeless people who were living inside the vacant building located near downtown Los Angeles.
Three men and two women died in the fire, which collapsed the roof of the two-story building and left the bodies buried in debris.
Sanchez was arrested in California during 2012 for illegally entering the U.S., but he was released a week later by after agents determined he had no criminal history or previous immigration violations, the Los Angeles Times reported.
According toVirginia Kice, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Sanchez was ordered to report regularly to immigration authorities, but for unknown reasons deportation proceedings never began. He stopped reporting in 2014, but no search was made for him, and no request was made for law enforcement agencies to hold him.
Sanchez, who is from Central America, was arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse in January and for drug possession in May and on June 8, but he was quickly released.
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