December 10, 2023

US Judge Investigated for allegedly allowing illegal immigrant to flee

By Sandy Fitzgerald From Newsmax

A county judge in Oregon is under investigation after an illegal immigrant escaped through a private entrance at her courthouse to elude Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents waiting for him after court.

Court staff had told Multnomah County Judge Monica Herranz that ICE agents were waiting outside her court to capture Diddier Pacheco Salazar, 22, a Mexican-born construction worker who was facing charges of driving recklessly and under the influence of intoxicants, according to a local newspaper, The Willamette Week.

Salazar initially pleaded not guilty, but appeared in court on Jan. 27 for his second appearance, to plead guilty as part of a plea arrangement. However, just two days before, President Donald Trump had signed his executive order to increase deportations, and saying that sanctuary cities such as Portland, where Herranz’s court is located, could lose federal funding.

“I prepped my client. I said, ‘I don’t know if they’re going to pick you up outside or what, but here’s how to prepare,'” John Schlosser, Salazar’s court-appointed lawyer, told the newspaper. “After the court appearance, I went out in the hallway and sat. My client never came out. I can’t say that I’m surprised he didn’t come out, but I gave him his options, and assume he had to have been escorted out some other way.”

Salazar was caught two weeks after his escape, and his attorney told the newspaper that he has not been able to contact his client. According to ICE, Salazar is being held in the privately operated Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington.

U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams said he is concerned about how the judge may have kept an illegal immigrant and criminal from being detained by federal agents.

“I was troubled because, on the face of it, what I heard sounded like potential federal criminal law violations and/or ethical violations,” Williams said. “Generally, we’re talking about obstruction of justice.”

ICE agents have decided not to investigate Herranz, reports Fox 12 Oregon, but Chief Judge Nan Waller is investigating the matter.

However, Williams said the judge’s potential role in the escape is troubling.

“When you’re talking about the judicial system – whether it’s federal or by state – you have an expectation 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,” he said.

Image: Judge Investigated For Allegedly Allowing Illegal Immigrant to Flee

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