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Santa Clara County ignored federal agency's requests to question the gang member following his previous arrests
An illegal immigrant with prior convictions and multiple arrests for offenses such as false imprisonment and battery has been taken into custody in the stabbing death of a woman in San Jose, California.
Law enforcement officials decried the state's sanctuary law as they revealed that before the murder, Santa Clara County officials ignored no less than nine U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests for the self-professed gang member.
What are the details?
Police say Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, 24, stalked 59-year-old Bambi Larson before breaking into her home and killing her in her bedroom last month. Larson's body was discovered by her son on Feb. 28, when he checked in on her after she failed to show up for work.
Carranza was arrested Monday after investigators linked him to the crime using DNA evidence from Larson's home. He was also seen on security footage "stalking" the area near Larson's home on the day of her murder and well as leaving the residence after the crime was committed.
The transient's lengthy rap sheet goes back to 2013 when he was arrested for crossing into the U.S. at the southern border. He was deported back to Mexico but returned only to be arrested another 10 times with at least three convictions prior to Larson's murder, according to the Daily Mail.
At the time of his arrest, Carranza was on probation for false imprisonment, burglary, and possession of methamphetamine.
How could this happen?
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia revealed at a news conference that ICE had applied nine times for a detainer on Carranza, which would have allowed for the suspect to be held longer than his jail term in order to allow federal authorities time to investigate his immigration status.
But county officials ignored the repeated requests due to Santa Clara's sanctuary status, allowing Carranza to be released and commit further crimes. Garcia slammed the practice of freeing immigrant offenders rather than assisting ICE, saying, "This isn't about politics, this is about public safety."
"We are here to protect and embrace our otherwise law-abiding, undocumented residents," Garcia added. "We are not here nor should we be here to shield admitted gangsters or violent criminals regardless of immigration status."
ICE field director Erik Bonnar also spoke out against sanctuary policies, asking in a statement, "How many more people have to be killed or injured before California lawmakers will open discussions to revise the state policy prohibiting local law enforcement agencies from working with ICE to apprehend dangerous criminal aliens?
"It's unfortunate that our communities face dangerous consequences because of inflexible state laws that protect criminal aliens," Bonnar said in the statement. "These sanctuary policies have unintended, but very real, and often tragic consequences to public safety."
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