ICE deports undocumented Guatemalan man from Oregon before criminal prosecution complete

Border Patrol re-apprehends him allegedly smuggling 820 pounds of marijuana back into U.S.

11 undocumented individuals apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol were allegedly carrying 36 bundles of marijuana in the mountains west of Nogales, AZ. Photo courtesy of U.S. Border Patrol.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 820 pounds of marijuana and apprehended 11 undocumented individuals this week, including a Guatemalan man who was facing criminal charges in Oregon before Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported him earlier this year.

Mario Felipe-Perez is now awaiting extradition back to Marion County, Oregon where his prosecution will likely resume. His court-appointed lawyer, Ronald Hellewell, said it is likely the prosecutors in Marion County will continue to prosecute the charges Felipe-Perez faced before deportation including domestic assault, burglary and harassment.

Tucson Del Sur News’ reached out to and asked ICE’s public affairs office in Seattle why Felipe-Perez was deported while he was awaiting prosecution for the domestic assault charges but has not received a response as of the time of publication.

Tucson Border Patrol agent Joe Curran said it is a “pretty common practice” for ICE to repatriate individuals facing criminal charges in the U.S. He said it is likely Felipe-Perez will now be transferred to U.S. Marshall’s custody and extradited back to Oregon.

Once Felipe-Perez is back in Oregon, Curran said it is also common for ICE to issue a detainer to the local law enforcement agency that assumes custody of him. But now Felipe-Perez may also face federal smuggling charges and it is unclear at this point how his case will play out.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Border Patrol

Oregon state law prohibits coordination between local law enforcement agencies and federal immigration agencies in instances where criminal activity is not involved. But in this case Felipe-Perez was facing criminal charges and there likely was coordination between a local agency and ICE.

Without the input of ICE it is difficult to know why Felipe-Perez was deported earlier this year before being fully prosecuted.

Stay tuned to TDSN for more on this developing story.