Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are not happy with a sanctuary county who refused to notify them that they were letting a convicted dog rapist walk free.
The dog rapist, Fidel Lopez, is an illegal alien, and had just completed a 60 day sentence for the crime in Multnomah County, Oregon. Lopez should have been taken into custody by ICE upon release, so deportation proceedings can begin.
Multnomah County operates under “sanctuary” laws, however, and refuses to notify ICE when they release illegal immigrants with immigration detainers filed against them.
ICE routinely files immigration detainers against migrants under arrest by local authorities. When that migrant is due to be released, the local authority should coordinate with ICE to transfer the migrant to their custody. In sanctuary cities and counties, however, local authorities ignore those detainers, and allow the migrant to walk free.
Federal authorities argue that local authorities who ignore those detainers often allow violent criminals to walk free and commit more crimes.
Authorities say in February, Fidel Lopez raped his girlfriend’s dog, a female Lhasa Apso mix, while in a drunken stupor. The girlfriend later found the dog behind a couch with blood coming from its hindquarters. She took it to a veterinarian, who had to put the dog down because its internal injuries were too severe.
The girlfriend said Lopez had made sexually suggestive comments about the dog in the past, and asked that the dog’s body be examined for possible sexual assault. Tests proved that was the case, and Lopez was responsible.
Lopez was arrested soon after on charges of first degree animal abuse and sexual assault of an animal. 60 days was the maximum sentence on those charges. “If it could have been more, I gladly would have given you more time,” the judge said at sentencing.
Although he was convicted on April 8 and sentenced to 60 days in jail, he was released immediately because he had already served that amount of time behind bars while awaiting trial.
Multnomah County should have notified ICE ahead of time that Lopez was due to be released, but stuck to their policy of releasing illegal immigrants without notifying federal authorities.
ICE called out the county in a press release, hoping to bring some public scrutiny to their policy, that endangers local citizens by allowing violent criminals to walk free.
“On April 8, Lopez was convicted of sexual assault of an animal and aggravated animal abuse and sentenced to 60 days in jail with credit for time served,” said ICE spokeswoman Tanya J. Roman said in the press release. “The Multnomah County Jail did not honor the immigration detainer and released him without notice to ICE.
“It’s unfortunate that current local and state laws and policies tie the hands of local law enforcement agencies that want and need to work with ICE to promote public safety by holding criminals accountable and providing justice and closure for their victims,” the statement read. “Sanctuary policies not only provide a refuge for illegal aliens, but they also shield criminal aliens who prey on people in their own and other communities.”
ICE was eventually able to track down Lopez and take him into custody over a month later, and currently have him behind bars at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma while it works to have him deported.
It is not known if Lopez committed additional crimes during the month that he was allowed to walk free.
Multnomah County’s sanctuary policy has cost innocent people their lives. In March of 2018, Multnomah County refused to honor an ICE detainer on Martin Gallo-Gallardo, an illegal immigrant who had been arrested on charges of felony fourth-degree assault on his wife. After allowing him to walk free, Gallo-Gallardo then killed his wife.
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