FEBRUARY 20, 2009
A fugitive illegal immigrant gang member convicted of multiple crimes and deported several times will file a complaint against the federal agent who finally caught him because the arrest took place at a church.
The incident occurred in a Houston suburb last fall, but the now-incarcerated illegal alien announced the action against the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent this week. The agent recognized the elusive criminal from previous arrests while both men worshiped at a church near Conroe in southwest Texas. The agent asked the fugitive alien to step outside and subsequently arrested him.
For years Jose Juan Hernandez thumbed his nose at U.S. law by reentering the country after each of his three deportations to his native Mexico. He got deported after convictions for felony drug possession, driving intoxicated and driving with a suspended license. Authorities say he was a member of the violent Varrio Northside street gang.
The illegal immigrant’s taxpayer-financed attorney claims the arrest violates an ICE policy against detaining suspects in sensitive community locations such as churches. He also chastised the agent for not bothering to check if Hernandez had become legal since his last deportation in 2004, adding that there was no “legal basis” for the arrest.
Hernandez pleaded guilty to the re-entry after deportation charge following the arrest and is scheduled to be sentenced sometime in April. He faces up to two decades in prison. No indication from federal authorities on what might happen to the agent who finally apprehended this serious repeat offender.
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