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Federal agents arrest convicted illegal Mexican immigrant who was set free by the New York Police Department

By Mason White 2:23 PM January 31, 2017
Luis Alejandro Villegas being arrested
By: Emily Lewis

Federal agents swooped in to arrest a convicted illegal immigrant who was set free by the New York Police Department.

Officers of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested a Mexican national on Wednesday, after he was released from local custody when a detainer lodged with New York authorities was ignored.

The man, who had previously been removed from the United States, has a prior conviction for forcible theft armed with a deadly weapon.

Luis Alejandro Villegas, 31, was released from local custody by the New York Police Department, after being detained for driving while intoxicated.

Villegas has a previous criminal conviction for robbery in the first degree, forcible theft with a deadly weapon for which he served five years in prison.

Following his prison term, Villegas was removed from the United States, pursuant to a final order of removal.

ICE filed the detainer with the New York Police Department in Manhattan, where he was detained while the DWI charge was pending.

However, he was released from New York custody after authorities decided to ignore the detainer.

A criminal warrant was subsequently issued by the Southern District of New York (SDNY) for the illegal reentry of a removed alien.

ICE officers arrested Villegas at the intersection of 111th Street and Park Avenue in New York. He was processed and later transported to federal court for an appearance before a judge.

He is now in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service with charges pending.

“Villegas is a criminal alien who was released back into our New York communities, posing an increased and unnecessary risk to those who live in this great city,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York.

“This level of risk can be mitigated in many instances and ICE welcomes changes to the current policy, which is creating a potentially unsafe environment for the city’s residents.

“ICE is committed to strengthening its relationship with local law enforcement in the interest of public safety and national security while preserving the critical community-police bond,” Decker added.