UPDATE: Northern CA Sheriff Disputes Claims That Illegal Alien Started Wine Country Fires

Brittany M. Hughes | October 18, 2017

Update: According to Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano, Fabian Gonzalez, a Northern California homeless man arrested for arson and wanted for potential immigration violations, is not to blame for starting the blaze that's engulfed much of the state's Wine Country, contradicting earlier reports from several news outlets.

Original story: The man accused of starting the deadliest fire in California history may also be an illegal alien, according to news reports citing federal officials.

According to this, 29-year-old Fabian Gonzalez, a homeless man, was arrested at Maxwell Regional Park in Sonoma County on suspicion of starting the massive blaze that’s so far killed 41 people, displaced more than 100,000 residents and caused about $3 billion in damage across Sonoma valley and the surrounding North Bay area. A stunning 172 people are still unaccounted for, and an estimated 5,700 homes and businesses have been destroyed.

Gonzalez reportedly told authorities he was cold and set the fire to stay warm - despite the nearly 80-degree weather that day. 

Now, Breitbart News reports immigration officials have confirmed they’ve placed an ICE detainer on Gonzalez, who’s reportedly being held at the Sonoma County Jail.

Sargent Spencer Crum told Breitbart that Mr. Gonzalez is also on a U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) detainer request, despite Sonoma County declaring itself as a “sanctuary county” in May 2014. The county only cooperates with “ICE holds” if the prisoner has been convicted of a felony or any misdemeanor offence that falls within the Trust Act within the last five years. Mr. Gonzalez’s immigration status has not yet been announced.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law earlier this month declaring California a “sanctuary state,” limiting local and state law enforcement from questioning or detaining people based on their immigration status and restricting their ability to cooperate with federal immigration authorities seeking to take custody of an illegal alien arrested for a crime.

(Cover photo: Wikipedia; FEMA/Andrea Booher)