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December 22, 2020Asheville, NCUnited StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE launches billboards in Asheville featuring at-large public safety threats

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a billboard campaign today in Asheville, North Carolina, to alert the public of at-large immigration violators who may pose a public safety threat to the community. Several of the individuals were previously arrested or convicted of crimes in the U.S., but were released into the community instead of being transferred into ICE custody pursuant to an immigration detainer.

“It’s unfortunate that certain law enforcement agencies refuse to work with ICE to promote public safety by holding criminal aliens accountable and providing justice and closure for their victims,” said Thomas Giles, field office director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Atlanta, Georgia. “Sanctuary policies not only undermine the integrity of our nation’s immigration laws; they also shield criminal aliens who prey on the people in their own communities.”

The billboards are located at or near:

  1. I-26 .3 miles west of Butler Bridge Overpass
  2. US 19/23 west of I-40
  3. I-26 .6 miles west of Brevard Road
  4. US 25-A .7 miles south of I-40 overpass

ICE lodges immigration detainers on individuals who have been arrested on local criminal charges and who are suspected of being removable, so that ICE can take custody of that person when he or she is released from local custody. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders onto the streets, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.

The billboards feature cases like:

Luis Alberto Rodriguez-Castro, 53, a Honduran national, charged in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, in October 2011, with negligent homicide and vehicular manslaughter. Rodriguez-Castro, who entered the country without inspection at an unknown place in 1998, is wanted by ICE as an illegal alien in addition to being a criminal fugitive.

Daniel Acosta Garcia, 26, is a Mexican national illegally present in the U.S. Acosta Garcia was arrested by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, May 16, for driving while impaired. On May 17, ICE lodged a detainer with the Buncombe County Jail, but due to their sanctuary policies, the detainer was not honored, and the subject was released into the community.

Bryan Josue Tabora Bautista, 23, is a Honduran national illegally present in the U.S. Tabora Bautista was arrested by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, May 31, for driving while impaired. On June 1, ICE lodged a detainer with the Buncombe County Jail, but due to their sanctuary policies, the detainer was not honored, and the subject was released into the community.

Jose Adrian Pena Alvarez, 23, is a Honduran national illegally present in the U.S. Pena Alvarez was arrested by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, May 19, and subsequently convicted, Nov. 4, for assault on a female. On May 18, ICE lodged a detainer with the Buncombe County Jail, but due to their sanctuary policies, the detainer was not honored, and the subject was released to the community.

Jaime Gonzalez Garcia, 29, is a Guatemalan national illegally present in the U.S. Gonzalez Garcia was arrested by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, June 21, for driving while impaired and driving with a revoked license. On June 21, ICE lodged a detainer with the Buncombe County Jail, but due to their sanctuary policies, the detainer was not honored, and the subject was released to the community.

David Anaya Gutierrez, 37, is a Mexican national illegally present in the U.S. Anaya Gutierrez was arrested by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, Oct. 8, 2019, for possessing cocaine with intent to sell or deliver, trafficking cocaine, continuing a criminal enterprise and resisting a public officer. On Oct. 11, 2019, ICE lodged a detainer with the Buncombe County Jail, but due to their sanctuary policies, the detainer was not honored, and the subject was released to the community.

The public should call ICE at 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423) if they have information to report about the whereabouts of an individual featured on one of the billboards.

Updated: 12/23/2020