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June 15, 2018Philadelphia, PA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

Philadelphia releases felon despite detainer and criminal arrest warrant in place

PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested a dangerous illegal alien after he was released by the city of Philadelphia, despite an active detainer, which included a criminal arrest order signed by a federal judge.

On Thursday, June 14, 2018, ICE officers obtained a criminal arrest warrant in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania for Guillermo Leon-Sandoval for violation of 8 USC 1326(a), re-entry of a removed alien. City authorities had previously said they would honor detainers that included a criminal arrest order signed by a judge, but did not in this case.

Guillermo Leon-Sandoval, 35, has been charged by Philadelphia police with unlawful restraint/serious bodily injury; simple assault; recklessly endangering another person; and false imprisonment. The incident giving rise to these charges involved the assault of his estranged wife. Leon-Sandoval was also previously convicted of illegal entry in September 2014.

“The local government’s goal of making Philadelphia a sanctuary city will not deter us from our mission of making communities safer nationwide and honoring immigration laws,” said Gregory Brawley, acting field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Philadelphia. “In this case, the individual has been charged with recent violent crimes. We will continue to pursue individuals such as this for arrest and removal.”

“I commend ICE for arresting this individual pursuant to a federal judicial arrest warrant,” said U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to enforcing federal law, including, of course, our immigration laws. We will continue working with all law enforcement agencies to keep our community safe.”

ICE does not conduct sweeps, checkpoints, or raids that target aliens indiscriminately. ICE operations target public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens, gang members, and individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges. Reports to the contrary create panic and put communities and law enforcement personnel in unnecessary danger. Any groups falsely reporting such activities are doing a disservice to those they claim to support.