Previously-Arrested MS-13 Members Charged With Killing a Maryland Teen Entered the U.S. Illegally as Minors, ICE Says

Brittany M. Hughes | May 22, 2019
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At least two of three MS-13 gang members arrested last week for reportedly beating a 14-year-old girl to death with a baseball bat and stabbing her repeatedly with a machete have been determined to be illegal aliens who came to the U.S. illegally as children.

To make matters worse, they were allowed to stay in the U.S. illegally even after having been arrested for attempted murder in 2018, almost one year to the day before police say they butchered a teenage girl.

Here's a nutshell version of the main story, as I reported yesterday:

Three teenage MS-13 gang members have been charged with murder after allegedly beating a 14-year-old girl to death with baseball bat and hacking her up with a machete in Maryland last week.

According to reports, 14-year-old Cynthia Hernandez-Nucamendi, 16-year-old Josue Fuentes-Ponce, and 17-year-old Joel Escobar have been arrested and charged as adults with first-degree murder after police say they murdered 14-year-old Ariana Funes-Diaz because they were afraid the girl would rat them out for kidnapping and robbing a man back in April. Autopsy reports showed Funes-Diaz, whose body was found dumped in a creek in Prince George’s County Wednesday, died of blunt force trauma before being stabbed multiple times.

OK. Now that we’ve recapped the basics, here’s a fun new tidbit to add to that pile of grotesque awfulness – at least two of the three alleged murderers had come to the United States as "refugee" children, had been arrested at least once before for violent crimes, but were released without local authorities notifying ICE.

I know. It’s just shocking, I tell you.

ICE issued a press release late Tuesday explaining they’re attempting to take custody of both Josue Fuentes-Ponce and Joel Escobar after their criminal proceedings have wrapped up – a request that was already ignored once in 2018 when the pair were arrested for a slew of attempted murder charges, gang crimes and robbery. 

ICE explains:

Following the recent arrest of two unlawfully present teens suspected in the violent murder of a young girl in Maryland, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers in Baltimore are again seeking to take custody of the illegal aliens through the ICE detainer process following the Prince George’s County Detention Center’s (PGCDC) failure to cooperate.

Josue Rafael Fuentes-Ponce and Joel Ernesto Escobar, both Salvadoran nationals, were previously arrested on May 11, 2018 when they were arrested by Prince George’s County Police Department (PGCPD) for attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, participation in gang activity, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted robbery, and other related charges. ICE officers lodged a detainer with PGCDC, however both were released on an unknown date and time without notification to ICE.

ICE says records show both teens had entered the U.S. illegally in the past four years – one as part of a family unit, the other as an unaccompanied minor.

Fuentes initially arrived in the U.S. on Dec. 23, 2015 as part of a family unit in Texas. They were ultimately paroled into the U.S. pending the outcome of the immigration case. On March 16, 2017, an immigration judge ordered Fuentes removed in absentia, yet he remained.

Escobar was found by immigration officials to be an unlawfully present unaccompanied juvenile on Aug. 23, 2016, near McAllen, Texas. Escobar was transferred to the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and later released to a family member in the Washington, D.C. area.

After being arrested for violent crimes shortly after coming to the United States, then released without being remanded to ICE for immigration violations, the two went on to allegedly murder 14-year-old girl.

But rest well, America. This only happens every single day.