August 27, 2007

Regional Roundup Fort Worth

August 28, 2007

Woman, 32, accused
of prostituting girl, 14

A 32-year-old woman remained in custody Monday after being arrested on an accusation of prostituting a 14-year-old girl. Fort Worth police on Saturday arrested Debra Castillo on an accusation of compelling prostitution. Witness told police a woman driving a gray Toyota 4Runner and approaching men asking them if they wanted to have sex with a girl for $50. Police responded and also arrested Jorge Martinez, 32, on an accusation of sexual assault of a child. It was unclear what his relationship was between the girl and Ms. Castillo, police said. Both Ms. Castillo and Mr. Martinez [illegal alien] were transferred to the Mansfield Correctional Facility where they were each held in lieu of $10,000 bond Monday.

From staff reports

August 11, 2007

Suspects in Kaufman teen's death entered U.S. illegally

Suspects in Kaufman teen's death entered U.S. illegally

12:52 PM CDT on Friday, August 10, 2007
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. – Two cousins accused of killing a Texas teenager during her visit to Oregon acknowledged entering the country illegally from Mexico, a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said.

One of the men, Alejandro Rivera Gamboa, 24, went unnoticed by immigration officials even though he was arrested four times on drunken driving charges since 2000, The Oregonian newspaper reported.

He and 23-year-old Gilberto Arellano Gamboa were arrested this week in the death of 15-year-old Dani Countryman of Kaufman, Texas, whose body was found late last month in an apartment southeast of Portland.

Oregon law prohibits local police from actively searching out illegal immigrants, but the rules change when foreigners land in jail. If local authorities find reason to believe the person is deportable, they may notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

At the same time, immigration officials search local jails and flag inmates who may be in the country illegally.

"We can't cover every jail in the United States," said Lorie Dankers, an immigration spokeswoman, noting that her agency also relies on local law enforcement officials to notify the immigration agency when they get inmates with questionable residency status.

In Rivera Gamboa's case, immigration officials have no record of contact after arrests, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, in 2000, 2003, and twice in 2006.

After their arrests in the murder case, the cousins told a federal immigration officer they have been in the United States illegally for about six months, Dankers said. According to state records, Rivera Gamboa obtained an Oregon identification card in April 2006.

In Clackamas County, where hundreds of jail inmates are released early each month because of overcrowding, illegal immigrants could be booked and released before immigration authorities ever get a chance to speak with them. It is unclear how much time Rivera Gamboa spent in the Clackamas County Jail, but a misdemeanor charge of drunken driving likely wouldn't have kept him there long.

Lt. Mike Alexander, Clackamas County jail operations manager, said local law enforcement officials are also limited in how much they can pursue federal immigration questions.

"If (inmates) choose not to tell us, we don't have any protocols that allow us to go forward," Alexander said.

Should the Texas State Legislature pass immigration enforcement laws in 2009?