ICE arrested unlawfully present Mexican national Jose Barajas-Diaz, during a targeted enforcement action on November 1, 2019 in Charlotte, NC.
Mr. Barajas-Diaz was initially arrested January 29, 2019, by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for driving while impaired and felony death by motor vehicle after he killed Miguel Angel Linarte Jacome in a drunken car accident on Central Avenue in Charlotte.
On October 24, 2019 Mr. Barajas-Diaz was convicted of felony death by motor vehicle in North Carolina Superior Court for Mecklenburg County, and given a five-year suspended sentence with credit for time served. However, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office then refused to honor a ICE detainer for Mr. Barajas-Diaz and instead released him back into the community.
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ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations deportation officers subsequently were able to locate and arrest Mr. Barajas-Diaz eight days later on November 1, 2019, and he is currently in ICE custody while going through removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts.
ICE contends that by releasing an illegal immigrant with a serious felony criminal offense resulting in death, Mecklenburg County chose to release a serious public safety threat into the Charlotte community where he was free to potentially harm others until his capture by ICE.
Acting ICE Director Matt Albence says:
It defies logic how a sheriff would release dangerous criminals to the street instead of to a federal law enforcement agency that has an outstanding warrant of arrest. Uncooperative jurisdictions such as Mecklenburg County should be on notice that as long as criminal offenders are being released, they should get used to seeing a lot more ICE at-large enforcement activity in their communities.