Federal immigration authorities say two teens arrested for murder in Maryland last week would not have been able to kill a 14-year-old girl if they had been turned over to ICE last year on a detainer request.
According to ICE, “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.
Last week, Fuentes-Ponce, Escobar along with 14-year-old Cynthia Hernandez-Nucamendi were arrested and charged with first-degree murder and related charges in the death of 14-year-old Ariana Funes-Diaz. Funes-Dias' body was found April 19 in a creek.
According to authorities, the suspects were fearful Funes-Diaz would go to the police about a robbery all four of them allegedly committed in the District on April 17.
Baltimore ICE Field Office Director Diane Witte says “as law enforcement officers, we must continue to serve and protect the American public and act in the interest of public safety first.These individuals had demonstrated violent criminal behavior before, and because they were released in spite of the lawful detainer, they were afforded an opportunity to take a life.”
The Prince George’s County Police Department says that Fuentes-Ponce and Escobar are connected to the MS-13 gang.
A Prince George County Corrections official basically admitted that they ignored the ICE detainer last year because of sanctuary policies.