SEATTLE – Murder suspect Jorge Omar Alcantara-Gonzalez, 41, is a Mexican citizen who is in the United States illegally. On June 14, Alcantara-Gonzalez was arrested by the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Department, charged with murder, burglary, theft and a variety of other local charges in connection with the disappearance of Ian Eckles. Eckles, 41, has been missing out of Kent since mid-May.
On the day of his arrest, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) lodged an immigration detainer on Alcantara-Gonzalez with Kittitas County Jail requesting notification prior to him being released from custody.
Alcantara-Gonzalez has had several previous encounters with multiple law enforcement agencies, prior to his latest arrest:
On Dec. 26, 2017, Alcantara-Gonzalez was arrested by the Washington State Patrol, charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and detained at the King County Jail. He was released from local custody the next day before any action could be taken by ICE ERO.
On Dec. 17, 2018, Alcantara-Gonzalez was arrested by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department for failure to comply and detained at the Lewis County Jail. On Dec. 18, 2018, ICE ERO lodged an immigration detainer on Alcantara-Gonzalez. The following day, he was transferred to King County pursuant to a criminal warrant and detained at the Regional Justice Center of Washington.
On Dec. 20, 2018, ICE ERO lodged an immigration detainer on Alcantara-Gonzalez with the Regional Justice Center (RJC). On an unknown date, RJC failed to honor the immigration detainer and released him back into the community.
On Dec. 24, 2018, Alcantara-Gonzalez was arrested by the Seattle Police Department, charged with theft of a motor vehicle and detained at the King County Jail. On the same day, ICE ERO lodged an immigration detainer on Alcantara-Gonzalez. On June 6, 2019, as a result of this arrest, Alcantara-Gonzalez was convicted of vehicle prowling in the second degree. On an unknown date, the King County Jail failed to honor the immigration detainer and he was released back into the community.
On March 19, 2019, Alcantara-Gonzalez was arrested by the Seattle Police Department for three counts of failure to comply and detained at the King County Jail. On March 21, 2019, ICE lodged an immigration detainer with the jail. The King County Jail failed to honor the immigration detainer and he was released back into the community on a later date without prior notification to ICE.
On May 31, 2019, Alcantara-Gonzalez was convicted of the 2017 DUI charge in King County and sentenced to 364 days in jail, 363 suspended.
Alcantara-Gonzalez has been encountered by U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on three different occasions between 2003 and 2013. CBP voluntarily returned Alcantara-Gonzalez to Mexico on Nov. 20, 2003, Jan. 8, 2009 and Dec. 21, 2013. He illegally reentered the U.S. on an unknown date and at an unknown location.
ICE’s mission remains consistent: to identify, arrest and remove aliens who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the country illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration laws and our border control efforts.
Illegal re-entry is a federal criminal charge, and violators may face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
ICE lodges detainers on individuals who have been arrested on criminal charges and who ICE has probable cause to believe are removable aliens. The detainer asks the other law enforcement agency to notify ICE in advance of release and to maintain custody of the alien for a brief period of time so that ICE can take custody of that person in a safe and secure setting upon release from that agency’s 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.