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Tipsheet

MS-13 Teens Came to U.S. as Family Unit and Unaccompanied, Murdered 14-Year-Old Girl After Being Released in a Sanctuary County

Two illegal aliens, one who came to the United States in 2015 as part of a "family unit" and the other unaccompanied in 2016, were released by the Prince George’s County Police Department after being charged with attempted first degree murder and other crimes. Upon release, they killed 14-year-old girl Ariana Funes-Diaz and dumped her body in a creek. 

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Prince George's County is a "sanctuary" for illegal aliens. Both are members of the extremely violent gang MS-13.

"Following the recent arrest of two unlawfully present teens suspected in the violent murder of a young girl in Maryland, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers in Baltimore are again seeking to take custody of the illegal aliens through the ICE detainer process following the Prince George’s County Detention Center’s (PGCDC) failure to cooperate," ICE released in a statement. "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 filed a request with the local Maryland police department to hold Fuentes-Ponce and Ernesto Escobar. In other words, they issued a detainer. Instead of being held, the two were released "on an unknown date and time without notification to ICE." At the time, Fuentes-Ponce had already been ordered for removal from the country by an immigration judge.

Last week on May 16, 2019, the same two men were arrested again and charged with first-degree murder. 

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“As law enforcement officers, we must continue to serve and protect the American public and act in the interest of public safety first,” Baltimore Field Office Director Diane Witte released in a statement about the situation. “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.”

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Fuentes initially arrived in the U.S. on Dec. 23, 2015 as part of a family unit in Texas. They were ultimately paroled into the U.S. pending the outcome of the immigration case. On March 16, 2017, an immigration judge ordered Fuentes removed in absentia, yet he remained.

Escobar was found by immigration officials to be an unlawfully present unaccompanied juvenile on Aug. 23, 2016, near McAllen, Texas. Escobar was transferred to the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and later released to a family member in the Washington, D.C. area.

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