Sanctuary City Argument Loses Steam, Troubling Details Emerge From Recent Arrest


The current sanctuary city battle has taken yet another victim; luckily this time the results were not fatal.

Sergio Jose Martinez, 31, was taken into custody Monday night on charges that include robbery, kidnapping, burglary, and sexual abuse involving two victims.

In another case of flaunting common sense and the federal law, cities in Oregon are restricted from using their resources to help enforce federal immigration laws. In March, Portland declared itself a “sanctuary city” for undocumented immigrants.

In a public statement, Multnomah County leaders and Sheriff Mike Reese wrote a letter to the community earlier this year saying, “The sheriff’s office does not hold people in county jails on ICE detainers or conduct any immigration enforcement actions.”

In the case this last week, Martinez allegedly assaulted a woman in the basement of a parking garage while armed with a knife. The woman kicked him in the stomach and pressed the panic button in her car, and Martinez fled when authorities arrived. Martinez was also tied to another assault the same night a few blocks away from where he attacked the woman in the parking garage.

Martinez allegedly entered the woman’s home through an open window, used scarves and socks to blindfold her, then tied her up, gagged her, and sexually assaulted her while slamming her head into the wood floor.

Martinez has a long list of arrests. He has been deported at least 20 times and was released by local authorities in defiance of a federal immigration hold. He was also subject to five probation violations for re-entering the United States.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged an immigration detainer against Martinez in December 2016, asking local authorities to notify them before releasing Martinez. However, he was released back into the community and ICE was not notified. Martinez has long been a criminal alien in the US, but sanctuary policies enable his criminal behavior to continue.

Portland has a reputation for working against federal authorities when it comes to matters of immigration. Multnomah County Judge Monica Herranz allegedly allowed 22-year-old Diddier Pacheco Salazar to escape from immigration officials by allowing him to flee through the back door normally reserved for court officials.

The case took place in January at the Multnomah County Courthouse in Oregon, where 22-year-old Diddier Pacheco Salazar was set to plead guilty to two charges in connection with a January DUI arrest.

Plainclothes federal agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were at the courthouse looking to arrest him on immigration charges. In an act of unbelievable misconduct, lower court judge Monica Herranz allegedly had Pacheco escorted out through a private entrance to avoid being captured by ICE agents. ICE arrested Pacheco two weeks later at another court hearing.

US Attorney Billy Williams said, “When you’re talking about the judicial system, whether it’s federal or by the state, you expect that people are going to abide by the law and not take steps based on their own motivations, their own politics, whatever the motivation was.”

The DOJ launched an investigation into the action taken by Judge Herranz. “I was troubled because, on the face of it, what I heard sounded like potential federal criminal law violations and ethical violations,” said US Attorney Williams. “Generally, we’re talking about obstruction of justice.”

Jon Harris

Jon Harris is a Senior OpsLens Contributor and former Army NCO, Sergeant Morales Club member, civilian law enforcement officer, and defense contractor with over 30 years in the law enforcement community. He is published in Army Trainer Magazine, authored regular columns in several newspapers, and is the author of the Cold War novel Breakpoint. His adventures as a security contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq can be found on www.dispatchfromdownrange.com. He holds a B.S. in Government and Politics and an M.S. in Criminal Justice and is currently completing his Juris Doctor degree.

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