eMails Show That Deportation Of Obama’s Drunk Driving Illegal Immigrant Uncle Was Delayed – And That Top Immigration Officials Kept Tabs On Mitt Romney’s Take On The Issue

July 16, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Emails exchanged by top U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials confirm that ICE delayed the deportation of President Obama’s uncle, an illegal immigrant, and that they had a close eye on Mitt Romney’s view of the issue.

“Mr. Onyango is subject to a final order of deportation. ICE had granted him a stay of deportation effective until June 5, 2012,” Brian Hale, director of ICE’s public affairs, explained in an April 1, 2012 email to ICE Director John Morton that was obtained by Judicial Watch. “The stay was granted to allow him to attend pending criminal proceedings and to seek reopening of his deportation proceedings, which concluded before the Board of Immigration Appeals on January 29, 1992.”

The emails also show that Hale kept Morton apprised of how Onyango Obama’s case was playing in the media. When Mitt Romney said in December 2011 that he would deport Onyango Obama following his arrest for drunk driving, Hale sent the news report to Morton and other members of ICE leadership.

“It certainly appears that Obama’s uncle is receiving favorable treatment from the Obama administration, which explains that we had to sue in federal court to obtain this material,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “ICE should have deported Onyango immediately, especially after his DUI. We now know that the Obama administration decided not to deport Obama’s uncle despite his being a criminal and being on the lam for at least 20 years.”

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Alabama Stuck With Crack-Head Immigrant Who Was Arrested 35 Times Over 12 Years On Laundry List Of Charges – Can’t Be Deported Because US Government Doesn’t Recognize His Homeland As A Country

April 22, 2012

ALABAMA – He’s a man without a country.

An immigrant in Alabama who has been arrested 35 times in 12 years cannot be extradited because the United States does not recognize his homeland, the Birmingham News reports.

According to the paper, federal authorities have tried to remove convicted felon Sofyan Eldani, 45, but couldn’t send him to his native Palestine because the U.S. does not recognize it as a country. Eldani says he is a native of Palestine, though he carries an Egyptian passport.

Eldani’s arrests include assault, fraudulent checks, criminal mischief, resisting arrests, reckless endangerment, shoplifting, burglary, drug possession, failure to appear, probation violation, possession of a drug paraphernalia and DUI.

He has at least nine convictions, including four felonies, and served six months in an Alabama prison for receiving stolen property. His most recent arrest was for allegedly being found with crack cocaine during a traffic stop, according to the Birmingham News.

For now, Eldani will remain in Alabama and face his most recent drug trafficking charge in state court.

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No Bond For US Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Montalvo And Girlfriend – Charged With Smuggling Guns To Mexican Drug Cartel Members

April 19, 2012

EL PASO, TEXAS – A federal judge on Wednesday denied bond for an El Paso Border Patrol agent and his girlfriend, both accused of smuggling guns to members of a Mexican drug cartel.

Federal agents arrested Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Montalvo, 28, and his girlfriend, Carla Gonzales-Ortiz, 29, last week after their indictment on conspiracy, firearms and smuggling charges. The couple showed no emotion after the judge announced his ruling.

An investigation into the allegations began in early 2011, after a man identified in court documents only as E.P. told agents he worked as a “straw purchaser” for Montalvo, who allegedly once tried to recruit other straw purchasers while wearing his Border Patrol uniform.

A straw purchaser is a person who fills out paperwork to buy a gun from a licensed dealer but is actually illegally buying the gun for someone else.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Mesa made his bond ruling during a detention hearing Wednesday morning. After reviewing the possible maximum punishment of more than 10 years in prison, Mesa determined that both Montalvo and Gonzales-Ortiz are flight risks.

During the hearing, Special Agent Jesus Lowenberg, who works for Customs and Border Protection’s Internal Affairs, testified that in the fall of 2010, Montalvo and Gonzales-Ortiz became involved in buying weapons, ammunition and accessories destined for Mexico. Montalvo recruited straw purchasers by paying them for buying weapons and other items, and paid them extra if they delivered
the items to Mexico, Lowenberg testified.

The couple’s indictment states Montalvo bought ammunition and firearms, such as AK-47-type pistols favored by Mexican drug cartels. He also allegedly bought about 20,000 rounds of ammo, 97 high-capacity magazines — including 10 100-round magazines for 5.56-mm rifles — and four 37-mm flare launchers that drug cartels can convert to grenade launchers.

During a five-week span beginning in November, Montalvo allegedly spent $11,200 on weapons and ammunition, but his take-home pay as a Border Patrol agent was only $42,000 a year.

Montalvo made hundreds of calls to Mexico between November 2010 and January 2011 on one of two cellphones he kept — one apparently for personal use, and the other for “illicit activity” –ÊLowenberg testified. During the same span, Montalvo was considered a “frequent” border crosser, making six or seven visits a month to Mexico.

In January 2011, agents executed two search warrants at the couple’s home on Emerald Point Drive in far East El Paso. There, the agents seized nine weapons, a handwritten ledger with descriptions of the weapons and price markups, and a photo from Montalvo’s computer showing Montalvo, dressed in plain clothes, holding a large wad of money. Topping the wad was a $100 bill. The photo was titled “Pay Day.”

At one point, Lowenberg testified, Montalvo threatened E. P., telling him, “You know what happens to snitches? Bad things happen to snitches.” Lowenberg also said Montalvo once patted down E. P. to find out whether he was wearing a wire.

During cross-examination, Montalvo’s attorney, Sib Abraham, pointed out that the ledger didn’t have any notes indicating the weapons were indeed sold to cartel members in Mexico, although Lowenberg in turn pointed out that the weapons Montalvo and Gonzales-Ortiz allegedly bought are favored by the cartels.

Lowenberg also testified that many of the statements made between E. P. and Montalvo weren’t recorded.

Abraham also pointed out that Montalvo has several family members who live in Mexico, including siblings and his father.

Gonzales-Ortiz was charged in the case after she attempted to buy two weapons in 2010 but was denied based on her expired immigrant visa status at the time. At the time the investigation began, Gonzales-Ortiz was living illegally in the U.S. with Montalvo.

She was later granted conditional permanent legal residency, and her parents are legal permanent residents who live in Ruidoso, her attorney Leonard Morales said during the hearing.

Montalvo and Gonzales-Ortiz have a 6-month-old baby, whom Gonzales-Ortiz was breast-feeding when she was arrested, Morales said.

During the hearing, Montalvo’s U.S. citizenship was also called into question but wasn’t the basis for the federal prosecutors’ request that he be detained without bond.

Lowenberg testified that in early 2011, he and two other agents visited Montalvo’s mother and stepfather in Brownsville, where Montalvo is originally from, to find out why Montalvo’s U.S. birth certificate is flagged as fraudulent by the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Montalvo also has a Mexican birth certificate, Lowenberg said on the stand.

Lowenberg testified that Montalvo’s mother never verified whether Montalvo’s U.S. birth certificate is valid, but during cross-examination, Abraham pointed out Montalvo was enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2001 to 2005, when he was honorably discharged, and that Border Patrol agents are required to be U.S. citizens.

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Federal Class Action Lawsuit Filed On Behalf Of Women Sexually Assaulted While In Custody Of Texas Based US Immigration And Customs Enforcement (ICE) – 200 Reported In Custody Assaults In US Since 2007

October 24, 2011

TEXAS – A class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of three immigrant women who were allegedly sexually assaulted while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Texas, the American Civil Liberties Union said this week.

The ACLU, citing documents it said it had obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, said in a news release that there have been nearly 200 allegations of sexual abuse of immigration detainees jailed at detention facilities across the United States since 2007.

The ACLU release did not give dates of any of the alleged assaults, including those involving the three women who are plaintiffs in the class-action suit. The plaintiffs were identified only as Sarah Doe, Kimberly Doe and Raquel Doe “to protect them from further harm,” the ACLU said.

The alleged attacks occurred while the plaintiffs were being transported from the T. Don Hutto Family Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, to the airport or bus station in nearby Austin, the ACLU said.

Its release did not say where the class-action suit was filed Wednesday, but it said defendants include three ICE officials; Williamson County, Texas, where the Hutto facility is; the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a private prison company that manages the Hutto facility; the former facility administrator for Hutto; and a guard at the facility.

The lawsuit alleges that ICE along with Williamson County and the Corrections Corporation of America were “deliberately indifferent and willfully blind to the fact that (the guard named as a defendant) and other employees regularly violated the rule that detainees are not be transported without another escort officer of the same gender present,” the ACLU said.

ICE did not comment specifically on the ACLU’s announcement of the lawsuit, but an agency spokeswoman said ICE “maintains a strict zero tolerance policy for any kind of abusive or inappropriate behavior and requires all contractors working with the agency to adhere to this policy.”

ICE Public Affairs Officer Gillian Christensen added that the agency requires regular criminal backgrounds checks for its workforce.

“The (Department of Homeland Security) Office of the Inspector General and ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility investigate ALL allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct and the agency takes appropriate action — whether it is pursuing criminal charges or administrative action — when those allegations are substantiated,” Christensen said in the ICE statement.

The Corrections Corporation of America did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the ACLU announcement.

The ACLU said it was basing its claim that there have been 185 allegations of sexual abuse in federal detention centers against female immigration detainees on various federal documents.

The documents — obtained from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and ICE, according to the ACLU — showed that Texas had more alleged abuse cases, 56, than any other state, the organization’s news release said.

“While the information gleaned from the documents likely does not represent the full scope of the problem given that sexual abuse is notoriously underreported, the documents nonetheless make clear that the sexual abuse of immigration detainees is not an isolated problem limited to a few rogue facilities or to a handful of bad-apple government contractors who staff some of the nation’s immigration jails,” the ACLU said.

“Unfortunately, we believe these complaints are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Mark Whitburn, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Texas.

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Department Of Homeland Security Official Anthony Mangione Suspended, Arrested, Charged With Child Pornography In Florida

September 28, 2011

MIAMI, FLORIDA – The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for south Florida has been arrested on child pornography charges, the Department of Justice said Wednesday.

Anthony Mangione, 50, of Parkland, Florida, was charged in a three-count indictment unsealed Wednesday with transportation of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography, authorities said in a statement.

“According to the indictment, between March 2010 and September 2010, Mangione allegedly transported and received visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” the statement said. “The indictment also alleges that Mangione possessed electronically stored messages that contained additional images of child pornography during the same time period.”

Mangione was arrested Tuesday by FBI agents and made an initial appearance Wednesday in federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida.

During the appearance, Mangione pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to CNN affiliate WPTV. Both the prosecution and the defense requested he undergo a psychological evaluation, and the judge approved that request.

“The government has concerns that given the magnitude of the charges, that he might melt down,” defense attorney David Howard told WPTV. “So there is … real concern, and it’s going to be addressed.”

Mangione, a 27-year law enforcement veteran, wore a gray jumpsuit with “federal prisoner” on the back in court Wednesday, and his hands and feet were shackled, WPTV said. He made no statement during the hearing.

He was being held in the Broward County, Florida, jail, according to jail records.

A law enforcement official who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media said Mangione has been on leave from his job at ICE. WPTV reported he was placed on paid administrative leave in April amid a federal investigation into four images on his home computer he allegedly received via e-mail.

According to its website, ICE targets and investigates child pornographers, child sex tourists and facilitators and human smugglers and traffickers of minors, among others. The agency developed Operation Predator, which it describes as “an initiative to identify, investigate and arrest child predators and sexual offenders.”

If convicted, Mangione faces up to 20 years in prison, the Department of Justice said. He also faces a term of supervised release from five years to life following his prison sentence and he will be required to register as a sex offender.

Asked about the Mangione case on Wednesday at a news conference on another matter, ICE director John Morton said his agency cooperated fully with the investigation, but he declined to comment further.

The case is being investigated by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, the Department of Justice said. Broward County referred questions to federal authorities, and the FBI referred them to the Department of Justice.

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