This is a true story with the names changed to protect the innocents…
Every law enforcement officer receives a bit of job satisfaction when a criminal, preying on the innocent, is incarcerated due to the officer’s efforts. During my years working at an interior station as a Border Patrol Agent, I received this type of job satisfaction on a regular basis.
The Pasco (Richland Federal Building) Office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (I&NS) housed two special agents and two Border Patrol Agents assigned to the investigation of crimes relating to the violations of statutes relating to Immigration violations. I was one of these agents for several years.
Our office received calls on a regular basis from people complaining about others violating various immigration laws.
Ms. Belinda Martinez, a single mother, raising four sons in Grandview, worked for the State of Washington in one of the myriad of social programs that the state operates. Many of their clients were people illegally within the United States and our office had never received a phone call from the employees even though they obviously knew many of their clients were in violation of law.
Belinda Martinez did call and asked that I arrest her ex-husband.
Ms. Martinez explained over the phone that her ex-husband, Carlos ALONZO, served several years in prison for raping a teenage girl. After serving his prison term, he was deported to Mexico. He hadn’t stayed in Mexico for long and crossed illegally back into the United States, and was now living in the same town as Ms. Martinez.
He began interacting with her two older sons, both barely teenagers on a regular basis. When I asked why she allowed him to continue his relationship with his sons in violation of a court order, Ms. Martinez relayed the personal fear she felt of her ex-husband.
But she dreaded the bad influence he would provide to her sons. So she went to the Grandview Police Department and they referred her to me.
I confirmed her story, validating that Carlos ALONZO, now in his mid-thirties, was formally deported to Mexico and ordered his A-file, the official Immigration File created for every alien entering legally or illegally into the United States.
I read the reports that described significant events in ALONZO’s life. Some of the reports stunned me at their graphic description of violence committed by him.
ALONZO crossed illegally into the United States from Mexico when he was barely an adult. He met and married Ms. Martinez, who petitioned him to become a Lawfully Admitted Permanent Resident. He received his “green card” and they began a family, living the much sought after American Dream.
Then he began to change, drinking heavily and allegedly using illegal narcotics. The once-happy couple began to argue and this escalated to violence against Ms. Martinez. After an argument he assaulted his wife with a 2X4 board causing extensive bodily injury to her. She was hospitalized with severe injuries and Carlos ALONZO was arrested. The frightening violence executed upon Ms. Martinez quickly lead to a conviction for aggravated assault in the superior court system for this offense. After his conviction for the assault he spent his first term in the Washington State Penitentiary system of just under 24 months(He had been sentenced to a much more lengthy term but due to overcrowding he was released early).
After release from prison ALONZO didn’t change. One night ALONZO partied with some friends near where he lived in the Grandview/Sunnyside area. He met and persuaded a 14-year-old girl to go drinking with them. He separated from his buddies and took the 14 year old girl to a vineyard. When she tried stopping his advances he beat her and then brutally raped her. On top of her other injuries she was also severely injured vaginally. I read the report of this incident and my stomach turned.
ALONZO was arrested and convicted of this brutal rape and sentenced to prison again. During this prison stint, the Immigration and Naturalization Service set up ALONZO for a hearing before an Immigration Judge. The Judge ordered the removal of his Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), and ordered him deported from the U.S. Upon his release from prison, which again was cut short due to overcrowding, he was deported to Mexico.
While he was in prison, Ms. Martinez divorced ALONZO. She asked for and received an order of No Contact with her sons in the divorce decree. It was easily obtained due to the violence he had already exhibited.
Ms. Martinez relayed to me that she thought, or maybe hoped that her involvement with ALONZO was over; that maybe he wouldn’t risk returning to the United States and not only violating his probation but facing charges for Re-Entry After Deportation. But she was wrong.
ALONZO showed up at her home unafraid and intimidating. He told her that the boys were his; that he had a right to be with them, and that she had best not refuse. He took the two oldest boys out with him against the objections of Ms. Martinez. She knew he would beat her or maybe worse if she called the cops. But the fear of further violence was overwhelmed by her belief that her boys would someday act like their father; that they would emulate him. This, she explained to me, was why she called me.
Reentry After Deportation is a simple crime to investigate. It was one of the main Immigration violations I investigated. After an alien is ordered removed or deported by an Immigration Judge, a Warrant of Deportation is completed which includes his photo and his fingerprint. If the deported alien reenters into the United States illegally and is arrested by an agent, his electronic record will show that he is a deported alien.
To prove this crime in a court of law, the arresting agent must prove that the subject illegally entered into the United States after his deportation. This is a relatively simple process to complete.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office likes to prosecute these cases as they are straightforward and provide for potentially long prison sentences. We concentrated on aliens with criminal histories who were deported after being incarcerated for felonies in the state system and then returned illegally to the United States. We worked this type of criminal case on a regular basis.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office worked well with the Border Patrol and I called one of the Assistant U.S. Attorneys to obtain a warrant. After I explained the facts to him, he accepted the case without hesitation.
I testified in front of the Grand Jury, a panel of citizens from the area, and described the facts of the case. I presented substantial evidence to convince a reasonable person that ALONZO was deported to Mexico and returned illegally. The Grand Jury issued an Indictment for the arrest of ALONZO.
My partner and I concentrated on locating and arresting ALONZO. We set up surveillance at his residence. One morning we saw what we believed to be him returning to his residence. We were sure he’d be inside of the residence, so we contacted the local police for backup. Two local Grandview officers were happy to assist and Don and I went to the front and the PD’s to the rear of the dwelling. After knocking, as we didn’t have a warrant to enter, we were met by a younger man who advised that ALONZO had just left. We searched the home but he was telling the truth and somehow, ALONZO had already left. Unfortunately, as is often the case in law enforcement, our timing was bad and we’d missed ALONZO.
He knew we were after him and went into hiding. Eventually we would locate him but, I worried that he would hurt his ex-wife before we could locate him. His warrant was entered into the FBI database, NCIC. Don and I, hoping to catch him sooner than later, personally visited representatives of the Washington State Probation Office, who immediately revoked his probation, and several Police Departments and enlisted their assistance. I offered them a dinner if they found him, but, once they saw his criminal history, that idea was scoffed at as they would happily get this scum off the streets without a bonus.
With the assistance of various law enforcement departments, he was finally located by a trooper conducting a traffic stop who arrested him for both the state warrants. We served the federal warrant without incident.
The state dropped their probation violations against him, allowing us to prosecute him for the more serious violation of Reentry After Deportation. ALONZO tried fighting the allegation filed against him by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
I prepared for trial. It was a straightforward case and the U.S. Attorney assured me we would win but we had to have our case perfect which took some effort on my part.
As I obtained my fingerprint comparison certifications, and lined up the witnesses needed to testify against ALONZO, he finally accepted defeat and plead guilty to the charge.
Every federal judge has sentencing guidelines with a range of incarceration time that he must follow when issuing his order. In this case, the Federal Judge stayed at the top of the range and mandated ALONZO to a Federal Penitentiary for 84 months for the crime of Reentering the United States after Deportation.
This is a much longer jail term than he received for the rape of the young girl. Under the federal system, an inmate can get “good time” off their sentence of around one month per year of service; assuring ALONZO would serve over six years without the possibility of release.
A short while later Ms. Martinez contacted me and asked if she could meet me. I met her at her work in Grandview where she asked about the fate of ALONZO. I explained that he was sentenced to prison for 84 months; that he would spend a minimum of six years before being eligible for release and then he would again be deported to Mexico. If he returned illegally, he would face 10 years or more in prison. She was teary eyed, thanked me several times, but mostly made a statement to the effect, “Now I can raise my boys to become men…”
I had performed my duties and, by doing so, this woman could continue to live her life without the fear that ALONZO brought to it. Her opinion of the U.S. Border Patrol and of the Immigration Service changed for the positive. I felt an enormous amount of job satisfaction!
MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE BORDER PATROL
SENDING A RAPIST TO PRISON
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