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U.S. attorney Scott Blader emphasizes public safety in immigration prosecutions

MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, on February 10, 2020 joined with Attorney General William Barr to emphasize the importance of apprehending, prosecuting, and removing aliens who are in the United States illegally and have committed criminal acts.

The Western District of Wisconsin echoes the sentiments expressed on February 10 by the Attorney General regarding “sanctuary” policies that prevent local law enforcement from sharing information and honoring federal detention requests in the context of immigration crimes.  Such policies jeopardize public safety by increasing the risk that undocumented persons may commit further crimes before federal authorities can apprehend them.

Although challenges exist in the Western District of Wisconsin, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has successfully partnered with many local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to prosecute criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety.

“The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout the country have a vital public safety role in locating, arresting, and prosecuting aliens who are illegally in the United States,” said United States Attorney Blader.  “My office relies on state and local law enforcement to honor detainers issued by federal law enforcement.  Such cooperation prevents illegal aliens in the custody of local jurisdictions from being released into the community.”

“Cooperation amongst federal, state and local agencies is quite simply the most effective way of promoting public safety,” said Robert Guadian, field office director for ICE Chicago, which oversees Wisconsin. “Sanctuary city policies simply don’t work. Instead of promoting public safety, sanctuary policies put the lives of our community’s residents at greater risk.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin prosecutes individuals who are found to be in the United States illegally after prior deportations.   In almost all cases, those persons have come to the attention of federal law enforcement after being arrested for or convicted of additional state offenses.  Some examples, which include the conduct which brought them to the attention of federal authorities, their criminal history, and prior removals, are as follows:

Isaac Gutierrez-Blandon, Nicaraguan citizen, was arrested in May 2019 in Marquette County for obstructing an officer and operating a vehicle after revocation.  Marquette County Officers transferred Gutierrez-Blandon to Dane County after discovering multiple Dane County arrest warrants lodged against him for repeat operating while intoxicated (OWI) offenses. In 2007, Gutierrez-Blandon was convicted in Wisconsin for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.  He had been removed from the United States six times, including twice after felony convictions in the Western District of Wisconsin for illegally reentering the United States after being deported.  In September 2019, he was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison after his third felony conviction for illegally reentering the United States.

Rodrigo Miranda-Arias, a Mexican citizen, was convicted in Dane County in April 2018 of sexual assault of a child and incest.  Miranda-Arias was deported in 2008 after being convicted in Iowa of misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury.  In May 2019, he was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for illegally reentering the United States.

Martin Orozco-Lopez, a Guatemalan citizen, was arrested in Monroe County in February 2017 for first degree sexual assault of a child.  He was convicted of a felony domestic violence offense in Monroe County in 2014.  He had been removed from the United States three prior times.  In July 2019, he was sentenced to six months in federal prison for illegally reentering the United States.

Ascension Pascual-Rodriguez, a Mexican citizen, was arrested in Trempealeau County for stalking, violating a foreign protection order, and bail jumping.  He had been removed from the United States twice, including after a felony drug conviction in Missouri.  In May 2018, he was sentenced to 12 months in federal prison for illegally reentering the United States.

Jose Hernandez-Mendoza, a Mexican citizen, was arrested in Jefferson County in May 2019 for felony bail jumping and an outstanding warrant for delivery of cocaine.  He has prior convictions for offenses that include possession of THC, battery (domestic abuse), failure to support a child, and resisting an officer.  He was removed from the United States in 2017 and 2018.  On January 30, he was sentenced to two years in federal prison for illegally reentering the United States.

Jose Marcos Torres, a citizen of Mexico, was arrested in Trempealeau County for false imprisonment, substantial battery, OWI, and disorderly conduct (domestic abuse).  He has been removed from the United States twice.  He has pleaded guilty to illegally reentering the United States and will be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Madison on February 12, 2020.

“These stark examples demonstrate the need for all law enforcement agencies to work together to protect public safety and ensure that our immigration laws fairly protect the interest of current citizens, as well as those who seek to become citizens,” said United States Attorney Blader.

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