U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray held a press conference Wednesday to discuss the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office Sanctuary Policies that led to an illegal convicted sex offender whose victim was only 11 years old to be released despite having an ICE detainer.
Per FoxCarolina, according to the sheriff’s office, Marvin Torres was released from jail after being taken into custody on May 4, 2017 for indecent liberties with a minor.
Monday, October 28, 2019, Torres was convicted for the crime and sentenced to time served. He was released from jail on Tuesday October 29.
The sheriff’s office says while in the custody of the Buncombe County Jail, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency sent a detainer request for Torres, but failed to secure and arrest warrant despite having full knowledge he had been in custody for more than two years.
The sheriff’s office released Torres Tuesday, based on the conditions being met set forth by the judicial system, according to the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Quentin Miller said, “If ICE is aware of an individual that they have determined to be a danger to the public safety of Buncombe County then ICE should obtain a warrant for their arrest. Once that warrant has been secured my Deputies will work to apprehend that individual.”
February 26th, Sheriff Quentin Miller announced the new immigration policy which included not honoring ICE detainers.
Roughly 8 months later, true to his word Miller would release a convicted illegal child sex offender despite an ICE detainer.
Conservative Review reports local authorities in Buncombe County, North Carolina, released a sex offender who is in the country illegally despite a federal immigration detainer request.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement news release sent out on Wednesday says that federal officers apprehended Salvadorian national Marvin Ramirez Torres in downtown Asheville, N.C., after he was released by local officials the day before.
According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, Torres was initially charged with four felony counts of statutory sex offense against an 11-year-old victim. Earlier this week, Torres was convicted of felony indecent liberties with a child and sentenced to time served, set for release, and ordered to register as a sex offender.
“The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office then refused to honor the ICE detainer and instead released him back into the community,” the release explains, adding that federal officers got Torres outside the courthouse the next day when he showed up to register as a sex offender. Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the report and said that an ICE detainer doesn’t count as a warrant to hold someone for immigration authorities.
“This is yet another example of a clear public safety threat being released into North Carolina communities rather than into ICE custody due to local sheriff policies on ICE non-cooperation,” acting ICE Director Matt Albence said in a statement. “Continued decisions to refuse cooperation with ICE serve as an open invitation to aliens who commit criminal offenses that these counties are a safe haven for persons seeking to evade federal authorities, and residents of Buncombe County are less safe due to these misguided sanctuary policies.”
Back in February, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller announced that his department would no longer cooperate with federal immigration authorities on detaining illegal aliens already in custody. “The sheriff’s office will continue to comply with all applicable state and federal laws, however we do not make or enforce immigration laws. That is not part of our law enforcement duties,” Miller said.