Sheriff’s deputies in Lake County, Ohio were reportedly told by federal immigration authorities on July 7 to release an illegal alien who on Monday murdered a 60-year-old woman, attempted to rape a teenage girl, and tried to kill another woman.
Juan Emmanual Razo, 35, is being held on $10 million bond in the murder of Margaret Kastelnick, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group.
Razo allegedly embarked on a violent crime spree that began Monday morning when he attempted to rape a 14-year-old girl and shot another woman. Razo, who has been in the U.S. for five years, later killed Kastelnick in her home. He was apprehended following a shootout with police.
But Razo was on law enforcement’s radar three weeks ago. In a press conference held on Tuesday, Lake County Sheriff Daniel Dunlap said that deputies had approached Razo on July 7 while he was parked in a vehicle in a parking lot. The deputies contacted U.S. Border Patrol and were told that Razo was in the U.S. illegally from Mexico. Nonetheless, the sheriff’s deputies said they were told to release Razo since he had no known criminal history, WKYC reported.
“Emmanuel Razo was secured while we spoke with Officer Rivera of U.S. Border Patrol, who later decided not to respond to take Emmanuel Razo into custody,” a Lake County sheriff’s deputy wrote in his report, according to WKYC. “[Razo] was warned not to return to this property. We cleared.”
While it is unclear exactly why Border Patrol declined to take Razo into custody, it is worth noting that the Obama administration has de-prioritized the deportation of illegal aliens if they have no prior criminal history.
“We’re looking at the facts of the case to find out exactly what happened,” Jamie Ruiz, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told The Daily Caller.
The case comes amid widespread public outrage following the July 1 murder of 32-year-old Kate Steinle.
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, 45, has admitted to shooting Steinle on Pier 14 in San Francisco. Lopez-Sanchez had been deported from the U.S. five times. He had seven felonies on his record. He was released from federal prison in March and was then handed over to the San Francisco sheriff’s department. That agency released Lopez-Sanchez back onto the streets in April even though Immigration and Customs Enforcement had placed a detainer request with the sheriff’s department so that he could be deported again. The sheriff’s department did not honor the request because of San Francisco’s sanctuary city policies which protect illegal aliens.
According to Dunlap, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are working to determine Razo’s immigration status.
This post has been updated.