U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) announced it had lodged a detainer for an illegal immigrant from Guyana who was arrested by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and charged with murdering and sexually assaulting a 92-year-old woman from Queens. The illegal immigrant, Reeaz Khan, 21, was previously arrested in November after allegedly attacking his own father with a broken coffee mug. Khan was charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon. ICE lodged a detainer following Khan's arrest back in November, but sanctuary laws in New York City appear to have caused the criminal's release back into the community. Now, Khan faces new charges, including murder and sexual abuse against a person incapable of consent.
According to The New York Times, the NYPD initially denied receiving an ICE detainer following Khan's previous arrest in November, but ICE released a copy of the fax transmission form on Wednesday, dated November 27, that was appended to the original detainer. According to the report, the city's sanctuary policy still requires officials to turn over criminals convicted of "violent and serious" crimes to ICE as long as ICE meets certain legal and due process requirements. It wasn't clear why the NYPD failed to turn Khan over following his arrest in November.
The 92-year-old victim, Maria Fuertes, was described as a "beloved figure in her community." The elderly woman was found unconscious, her body partially exposed, behind a parked vehicle not too far from her home just after midnight Monday, January 6th. The woman later died from her injuries. At Khan's arraignment on Friday, prosecutors said Khan originally claimed to have helped Ms. Fuertes after seeing the elderly woman fall, but Khan eventually admitted that he had sexually assaulted Ms. Fuertes.
Before Khan's arrest, the NYPD posted surveillance footage of Khan seeking the public's assistance in locating the illegal immigrant.
??Do you know him? We are asking for your help, we want to talk to him about the the recent assault and homicide of a 92-year-old women in the area of 127th Street & Liberty Avenue in Queens.— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) January 9, 2020
Anyone with information is asked to call or DM @NYPDTips at 800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/ZSOyk2Nrsg
In a statement, an ICE official in New York called the city's policy of ignoring ICE detainers "dangerously flawed." Thomas Decker, a field director for ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations, said "New York City’s sanctuary policies continue to threaten the safety of all residents of the five boroughs, as they repeatedly protect criminal aliens who show little regard for the laws of this nation. In New York City alone, hundreds of arrestees are released each month with pending charges and/or convictions to return back into the communities where they committed their crimes, instead of being transferred into the custody of ICE. Clearly the politicians care more about criminal illegal aliens than the citizens they are elected to serve and protect."
Khan is currently being held without bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.