Tillis: Obama program sparred murder suspect deportation

AP News
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Posted: Mar 21, 2015 4:56 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis is questioning why the 19-year-old suspect in four recent Charlotte-area slayings wasn't deported despite a 2012 marijuana charge and alleged ties to street gangs.

Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez faces four first-degree murder charges from two separate shootings in February. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say the killings were drug-related. Among the dead was 19-year-old Mirjana Puhar, a former contestant on the reality-TV show "America's Next Top Model."

Records show Rangel-Hernandez was arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana charge in 2012, which put him in the pipeline to be deported. But that charge was later dismissed.

In a statement issued Friday, Tillis said Rangel-Hernandez's deportation process was stopped under President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy even though federal officials had "full knowledge that he was a known gang member."