Jose Ines Garcia Zarate had been deported five times. He kept coming to San Francisco because he knew it was a sanctuary city, and that the authorities wouldn’t be actively looking for him. In 2015, he concluded a 46-month prison sentence. Released on March 26, 2015, he was taken to San Francisco pending a warrant for a drug charge; he was released three months prior to the shooting, despite Immigration and Customs Enforcement trying to detain him. He stole a gun from a federal agent’s car, and ended up shooting Kate Steinle, who was walking on a pier in San Francisco with her father Jim. She was killed and Zarate was recently acquitted in her murder. It’s a disgrace to justice.
This tragic incident cast a spotlight on the sanctuary city policy, which the Trump administration has tried to deal with by cutting off DOJ grants to cities that have such a policy. Some say it’s necessary to allow illegal aliens to report crimes without fear of deportation, while others see it for what it is—a shield for illegals and an obstacle to enforcing federal immigration laws.
Well, while Zarate might have escaped on the murder charge, federal authroties are now charging him on immigration and gun charges that carry up to a 10-year jail sentence if convicted (via Fox News):
Federal officials filed a new set of immigration and gun charges Friday against Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the illegal immigrant found not guilty last week in the murder of Kate Steinle.
"A federal grand jury indicted Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate today for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and for being an illegally present alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition," according to a statement released by the Department of Justice.
If convicted of either charge, he could face a maximum of ten years in jail.
The new charges follow a move Friday by the Department of Justice, which unsealed an amended arrest warrant for Zarate, which included violations related to the charges of a felon in possession of a firearm, involuntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon, all of which were filed after the defendant's initial arrest, according to the warrant.
After Zarate's acquittal, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also announced last week that they planned to take Zarate into custody and remove him from the U.S. after the case was completely over.
Maybe there could still be some justice for Kate.