Front Page Magazine has been able to confirm that an individual recently arrested for the sexual assault of a three year old near Chicago, Illinois is here illegally, and confusion between Cook County officials and officials from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) means that all that’s standing in the way of freedom for this sexual predator is a Cook County judge. Cook County judges have been the subject of numerous investigations for corruption, most famously Operation Greylord which connected dozens of Cook County judges to bribe payments from Mafia figures.
The individual’s name is Armando Serafin, and he’s 34 from Chicago Heights, Illinois, a suburb about forty miles South of Chicago. He’s been in custody in Cook County Jail since November 16, 2012, suspected of molesting a three-year-old girl. His current bond is $1 million.
In a local story from the Chicago Heights Patch about Serafin it was indicated that Serafin couldn’t speak any English and required a translator. As such, Front Page Magazine investigated Serafin’s legal status. ICE confirmed exclusively to Front Page Magazine that Serafin is in fact in the country illegally in their estimation. According to ICE:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) placed a detainer on this individual at the Cook County Jail on Dec. 18, 2012 because we believe he may be eligible for deportation. By issuing a detainer, ICE requests that a law enforcement agency notify ICE before releasing an alien and maintain custody of the subject for a period not to exceed 48 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, to allow ICE to assume custody. If convicted for the crime for which charges are currently pending, this individual would be one of ICE’s highest priorities – those that pose a threat to community safety.
An ICE detainer is a hold that ICE places specifically on those held in municipal prison ICE believes are also in the country illegally.
When Front Page Magazine contacted Cook County officials, a statement from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) denied that they had received this detainer from ICE. County officials said,
Please be advised that the Cook County Department of Corrections(CCDOC) has not been forwarded an ICE Detainer for Armando Serafin #2012-1116239. Please be aware that this does not validate whether or not the subject has an ICE Detainer, it just means that this department has not been notified.
When asked to respond to this statement from CCSO, ICE continued to insist to Front Page Magazine that a detainer was sent. With no detainer recognized, this means that if Serafin were to make bond, he’d be immediately released rather than turned over to ICE for detention.
The situation is even more convoluted given that even if CCSO had a detainer, Serafin would still not be turned over to ICE. That’s because Cook County, where Serafin is located, doesn’t cooperate with ICE on any detainer, no matter how dangerous the individual. As such, even if CCSO said they did receive a detainer from ICE for Serafin, they would ignore it anyway.
However, it is still worse than that. Even if ICE were to somehow take custody of Serafin, he’d probably be released anyway. That’s because ICE has a history of releasing individuals if they are only charged with child molestation. In September 2011, Amado Espinoza-Ramirez was released by ICE, rather than being detained, after he was handed over by Cook County officials because of an ICE detainer.
Amado Espinoza-Ramirez was charged with forty-two separate counts related to child molestation, including a number of allegations of incest. After he made bail (when a friend paid the required $20,000 of a $200,000 bond) in Cook County, he was transferred to ICE. He was released in part by ICE because he had no criminal convictions. Amado Espinoza-Ramirez has since missed his subsequent court hearings and is considered a fugitive from justice by ICE.
According to publicly available records, Serafin has also never been convicted of any crimes and this latest indictment is his first. So, for now, Serafin’s fate rests entirely in the hands of a Cook County Judge. While his one million dollar bond means he should remain incarcerated for now, he has another court hearing on January 22. The judge could lower the bond to something that will allow Serafin to more easily make bail.
More than that, Serafin is not the only illegal alien suspected child molester caught up this sort of bureaucracy with their fates entirely in the hands of Cook County judges. According to the most recent inventory provided to Front Page Magazine by CCSO, there are over fifty individuals charged by Cook County with some form of child molestation, an ICE detainer, and also have a bond. Those bonds range from $150,000 to $5,000,000. Because Cook County ignores all ICE detainers, as soon as any of those are able to arrange for bail, like Espinoza-Ramirez did, they will be released back onto the streets of Cook County.
Cook County is not the only place in the USA where child molesters are released back onto the streets because liberal locales choose to ignore detainers. In Santa Clara County in California, local officials also have a similar ordinance which also ignores nearly all ICE detainers, no matter how dangerous the individual might be.
In December 2011, ICE was forced to do a sweep and round up sixty-three individuals, all of whom had detainers ignored by Santa Clara County. All sixty-three were living freely in and around Santa Clara County at the time of their apprehension by ICE. In the press release by ICE describing the sweep, ICE picked out four especially dangerous individuals, including a suspected child molester. The press release listed:
- “A Mexican national convicted earlier this year of felony possession of heroin for sale who was sentenced to six months in prison.”
- “A 49-year-old male Mexican national convicted in 2011 of child molestation.”
- “A 29-year-old male Mexican national with prior convictions for kidnapping and cocaine possession.”
- “A 48-year-old woman from Mexico with 13 aliases who has prior felony convictions for forgery and misuse of an entry document. Having been removed from the United States five times, she now faces federal prosecution for felony re-entry after deportation.”
Connecticut also adopted a similar, albeit less radical, policy toward cooperation with ICE on detainers. In Connecticut, the local Sheriff’s Office reviews each ICE detainer on a case-by-case basis and reserves the right not to comply with every detainer.
One detainer that was ignored was for an unidentified Polish man who was charged with fourth degree sexual assault. This individual, according to ICE, is already being pursued by the agency for overstaying his Visa. A fourth degree sexual assault in Connecticut includes such acts as sexual contact with someone who is mentally defective or mentally incapacitated to the extent that such a person is unable to consent to such sexual contact; someone that’s physically helpless; and sexual contact with a minor under fifteen. (The age of the individual was not released in the report.)
Unfortunately, certain liberal localities aren’t the only places implementing policies leading to the release of dangerous sexual deviants. According to a House Judiciary Committee report from July 2012, 142 individuals released by ICE during the Obama administration went on to commit crimes of a sexual nature.
With the Obama administration continuing to narrow the definition of a “dangerous” individual for ICE, and with more and more localities refusing to cooperate with ICE, cases of suspected child molesters and other sexual deviants being needlessly released rather than deported will continue to occur.
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