Officials in Oregon have freed two illegal aliens arrested on drug trafficking charges, ignoring detainers lodged by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Both men have previously been deported from the U.S. and reentered illegally, the agency revealed.
After an Oregon State Police trooper pulled the men over for multiple traffic violations, 19.7 pounds of methamphetamine and $16,660 cash were discovered in their vehicle.
“Leonel Campos-Valdez and Francisco Vasquez-Cruz are both citizens of Mexico and in the United States illegally,” ICE explained in a statement. “Both men were charged with unlawful delivery of methamphetamine, laundering a monetary instrument and unlawful possession of methamphetamine and booked into the Jackson County Jail in Medford, Oregon.”
“On April 29, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) lodged immigration detainers on Campos-Valdez and Vasquez-Cruz with the jail. The Jackson County Jail did not honor the detainers and released both illegal aliens back into the community the same day.”
The suspects are now at-large and could face prosecution for illegal reentry if apprehended by ICE agents.
“When criminals who should have been turned over to ICE are instead released into the public, it is a great injustice to the people in which law enforcement is sworn to protect,” said Michael Melendez, acting field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations in Seattle.
“As law enforcement officers we have an obligation to protect those in our community, and that includes using every resources within our power, such as immigration detainers, to keep criminals who endanger the public, like these two, off our streets.”
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Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst