Last month, Jose O. Montano, 17, and Henry E. Sanchez, 18, were both charged with first-degree rape, after they reportedly forced a 14-year-old girl into a bathroom stall and took turns sexually assaulting her, at Rockville High School in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Both suspects are in the country illegally. Montano is from El Salvador, while Sanchez is Guatemalan.
While the crime shocked the nation and has brought into question the measures which are being taken to ensure the safety of students at Rockville High School, the unspeakable incident is also shining a much-needed light on the fact that long ago, officials in Montgomery County, Maryland laid-out the welcome mat for illegal aliens.
In April 2011, Montgomery County Council-member Nancy Navarro, along other council members, introduced and passed a resolution opposing the implementation of the Secure Communities program. The federal program mandates localities to submit the fingerprints of everyone arrested and identifies illegal aliens for deportation.
Montgomery County, Maryland, which is reportedly home to a third of the state’s Latino population, has yet to participate in Secure Communities.
“It sends a message to the community that everybody can be a target and therefore disproportionately affects the ability to collaborate with law enforcement, said Navarro. “I don’t think it’s what we want to do in Montgomery County.”
In January 2017, a little more than a month before the gang rape took place in Rockville High School, Council woman Navarro was railing against President Donald Trump and his promised actions to deport illegal aliens.
“We will not allow President Trump to turn back the clock on the progress we have made to build trust among people of all races, ethnicities and religions. Our diversity is our strength. We will not let a culture of fear take hold in our community,” Navarro stated in a press release.
After illegal aliens committed several high-profile murders in Montgomery County, county officials were forced to change their policy in reporting criminal aliens to ICE. However, as Judicial Watch pointed out, Montgomery County police only report illegal aliens to the feds when they have been arrested for a very serious crime such as rape or murder.
Illegal aliens arrested for burglary, simple assault, and most weapons violations are still not reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation. Just as with any offender, bail is set for them and they are released back onto the streets to either commit more crimes in the county or to flee elsewhere.
On February 16, 2010, police in Prince William County, Virginia, filed charges against Marcos Banegas, 26, for forcible sodomy and aggravated sexual battery on an 8-year-old girl. The Honduran national has been on the run ever since.
It was a crime that could have been prevented if police in Montgomery County had reported Benegas to ICE when they had him in custody. A year before he was charged with raping the girl in Virginia, he was arrested for second-degree assault on a child in Maryland.
However, because Montgomery County had an official policy against notifying ICE of a suspect’s illegal immigration status, Banegas was simply released after the charges were dropped by the girl’s mother, who was apparently dating Banegas.
Even a very cursory examination of criminal activity committed by illegal aliens prior to Navarro’s resolution suggests that the legal residents of Montgomery County have been abandoned by county officials.
In July 2009, Edwin Umana, 21, was stabbed to death by six members of the Latin Kings.
In November 2008, Tai Lam, 14, was shot to death on a crowded bus by 20-year-old MS-13 member Hector Mauricio Hernandez. This killing could have been avoided if Hernandez had been reported to federal authorities a month earlier, when the illegal alien was released after being caught carrying a concealed weapon.
In October 2008, police arrested Honduran national Jose Juan Garcia-Perlera, 33, for the murder of Frances Havenstein, 63, after being linked to the crime with DNA evidence. He was also charged with several counts of robbery in a string of home invasions which targeted elderly homeowners. He always tied up his victims, one of whom was 92 years old. At the time of his arrest, Garcia-Perlera was living in Hyattsville, Maryland, and working for an electrical contractor. He had been in the country illegally for six years.
In September 2008, while at a local mall, a Gaithersburg teenager was stabbed nearly 50 times by gang members Ricardo Mejia, 16, Oswaldo Michael Lainez, 16, Omar Diaz, 16, and Edgar Garcia, 15. Though he was stabbed in the heart, the teen survived the attack. All of the assailants were charged as adults with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and two conspiracy charges.
In April 2009, Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger announced that criminal activity committed by illegal alien gangs MS-13 and the Latin Kings had increased significantly and accounted for the higher numbers of serious crimes such as rape, robbery, and murder.
Also, in 2009, the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office, reported that there were 35 active gangs in Montgomery County with a total of about 1,057 members.
Chief of the FBI’s MS-13 National Gang Task Force, Aaron Escorza recently said that gangs “know what law enforcement is doing. Word of mouth spreads quickly.” Latin American gangs are now spreading the word that Maryland is part of the “Wild Wild East.”
“They don’t recognize borders. They commit crimes in El Salvador, flee El Salvador to come to the US and you have MS-ers who are committing crimes in the US and fleeing down to El Salvador to evade arrest,” Escorza told the BBC News.
In December 2008, the Center for Immigration Studies released a comprehensive report on law enforcement’s handling of illegal alien gangs, entitled “Taking Back Our Streets: ICE and Local Law Enforcement Target Immigrant Gangs.”
“Consider the case of Milton Calderon-Menendez (age 25, citizen of El Salvador), who was arrested in March 2008, by the Prince William County, Va. gang unit. Following procedures put in place just weeks before, Prince William County police checked his immigration status and learned that Calderon was an illegal alien.
“The policy also requires them to notify ICE, which promptly put a hold on Calderon so that he would be held pending immigration charges, and would not be released (under Virginia law, illegal aliens are presumed to be ineligible for bail). As it turned out, Calderon had been arrested nine months before in Montgomery County, Maryland, about 40 miles away, for punching a 15-year-old in the face.
“Calderon had admitted to Montgomery police that he was a member of MS-13. However, that department’s policy is to not inquire about immigration status. Montgomery County released Calderon on $2,500 bail and told him to return a month later for trial. He did not. About three days after his scheduled trial, Calderon and a friend assaulted the friend’s roommate — the friend beat his roommate in the head with a baseball bat while Calderon stabbed him in the chest. It was after this attack that Calderon was arrested in the neighboring state of Virginia.”
[Featured Image by Kevork Djanezian/Getty Images]