Emails, Kristen Dark, senior public information officer, Travis County Sheriff’s Department, May 9-May 17, 2017
May 9, 2017
… she would not detain known criminals accused of violent crimes.”
Inmates are detained in the Travis County Jail because they have committed crimes, and no inmate will be released without either making bond or having his or her charges disposed by a judge.
Was that a solid description of the sheriff’s announced policy? If not, why not?
It was not. TCSO, under its policy, automatically honors ICE Detainer Requests on inmates charged with Murder, Capital Murder, Aggravated Sexual Assault or Human Trafficking. Provision number nine in the policy states, “TCSO reserves the right to exercise discretion in any individual case to ensure that justice is served.” In each and every case, TCSO command staff reviews an inmate’s current charge/s as well as criminal history. If there is any indication of violence in that data, the ICE Detainer Request is honored.
…the sheriff’s policy leaves out “a myriad of crimes including Sexual Assault Penal Code 22.011 and Manslaughter Penal Code 19.04 which helps these criminals evade the federal government when they issue an immigration detainer.” Accurate?
It is not accurate due to the provision afforded and exercised in policy item number nine.
Has the sheriff’s policy changed at all since we wrote this fact check?
It has not.
Sr. Public Information Officer
May 11, 2017
The attached document was provided to KUT on May 5, 2017.
May 17, 2017
(POLITIFACT TEXAS) According to my first look through the spreadsheet, it looks to me like it shows 91 individuals upon whom ICE made detainer requests that were declined. Most of the individuals were released on PR bond.
I am counting eight individuals charged with assault on family member intent of causing harm, which seem at a glance to be violent crimes. Can you elaborate on why such suspects would not have detainer requests honored?
(DARK) The nature of the behavior that resulted in the arrests was not aggravated and therefore, did not meet the threshold required for TCSO to honor the ICE Detainer Request. Please note that of the 8 individuals with the assault on family member, 5 had previously been released to ICE.
If ICE has past experience with the individuals, they should know the status and be able to quickly get a warrant or court order. If presented with a warrant, TCSO would gladly have turned these inmates over to ICE upon the disposition of their charges by a judge.
(POLITIFACT TEXAS) Also, I see that Jesman Alvarenga-Madrid and Luis Felipe Hernandez-Yenancio each was charged with engaging in organized crime activity, detainer denied, released on PR bond. Discuss why detainers denied?
(DARK) Jesman Alvarenga-Madrid and 2 other males were caught checking door handles to vehicles.
They were attempting to burglarize the vehicles but were found with no property from said vehicles.
Organized criminal activity does not always involve violent offenses and actually quite often involves non-violent crimes. The simple definition for organized crime is “three or more persons who collaborate in carrying on criminal activities.”
His ICE Detainer Request was denied due to charges that did not meet our policy requirements.
Alvarenga-Madrid was arrested again on April 11, 2017 for burglary of a habitat. The ICE Detainer Request was honored because the nature of his crimes were escalating.
Luis Felipe Hernandez-Yenancio burglarized a bait car in a mall parking lot. He was charged with “organized crime activity” because he committed the act along with other persons. His ICE Detainer Request was denied due to charges that did not meet our policy requirements.
(POLITIFACT TEXAS) Also, on line 728 of the spreadsheet, a Mr. Ramos-Portillo had a detainer request denied after being charged with possession and making a terroristic threat; this accurate? Can you elaborate on the specific charge?
(DARK) Mr. Ramos-Portillo told a security guard at a bar “I’m going to shoot you.”
No weapon was found in his possession.
(POLITIFACT TEXAS) Finally, I see many individuals charged with DWIs including some identified as having gotten their second or third such charge. Do I read the spreadsheet correctly in this way, that some of the people whose detainer requests were denied were on their second or third or more DWI charge? An example is on line 854, Arellano; others are on lines 792 and 871. Any explanation for not granting such detainer requests?
(DARK) In each of the 3 examples you provided, the Criminal Justice system granted the inmates Personal Recognizance Bonds more quickly than our evaluation process could respond. (within 24 hours)