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ICE Agents Apprehend Convicted Cop Killer 40 Years After Murder

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took custody of a Panamanian national earlier in May, over 40 years after he was convicted of killing a New York City police officer.

ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) division assumed custody of Carlos Celestino Payne-Archer, a 64-year-old man and Panamanian national, on Thursday, the agency announced in a press release. The apprehension came after Payne-Archer was convicted of first-degree murder of an NYPD detective in March 1978.

Detective Joseph Taylor and his partner, Officer Roy DeSetto, responded to a 911 call on Aug. 29, 1977, regarding a man armed with a gun at an apartment complex within the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, according to the agency. Taylor and DeSetto were met with gunfire after identifying themselves and attempting to enter the apartment.

Taylor was hit with a gunshot blast to his chest, and died from his injuries. DeSetto returned fire against the five assailants inside the apartment, fatally wounding one of them. Payne-Archer sustained a gunshot wound during the shootout while two other assailants attempted to escape through a window.

ICE Holds Immigrants At Adelanto Detention Facility

Immigrants wait in a processing cell at the Adelanto Detention Facility on November 15, 2013 in Adelanto, California. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The Panamanian national was ultimately charged with Taylor’s death. In March 1978, he was sentenced by a judge to 25 years to life in prison for the officer’s death, according to ICE.

“As I read about the heroic actions of Detective Taylor and Officer DeSetto on that day more than 40 years ago, I am reminded of the tremendous danger law enforcement officers face every day,” said New York ERO Field Office Director Thomas Decker in a prepared statement on Tuesday.

He continued: “While many Americans are sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic, that’s not an option for law enforcement officers. I hope that every American realizes that despite the inherent danger of this job, law enforcement officers like Detective Taylor and Officer DeSetto, continue to uphold their sworn duty to keep our communities safe.”

ICE confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation that Payne-Archer was transferred from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to the agency, pursuant to an immigration detainer request lodged in 1994.

News of the man’s arrest came at a time of heightened tension between the New York state government and federal immigration authorities.

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the “Green Light” bill into law in June 2019, which not only helps illegal aliens obtain valid driver’s licenses, but also restricts information sharing between state DMVs and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DMVs in New York are prohibited from sharing information with ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). (RELATED: Colorado Governor Doubles Down On Sanctuary Policy)

DHS chief Chad Wolf responded to this law by stripping New Yorkers of the privilege to enroll in Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs.

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