As a bonus four other illegal aliens were arrested during the raid.
Federal agents arrested a sex offender who was in the country illegally Monday after they say the Orange County jail released him despite an immigration detainer.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office responded Wednesday that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could have picked up Udiel Aguilar-Castellanos anytime after his Sept. 8, 2017, arrest. An attempt to contact ICE after his conviction was unsuccessful, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Aguilar-Castellanos, 43, of Carrboro, pleaded guilty June 27 to two counts of sexual battery involving an 11-year-old child and was required to register as a sex offender. Sexual battery is a misdemeanor defined as sexual contact by force or against another person’s will, or against a person who is mentally disabled or incapacitated or physically helpless.
Aguilar-Castellanos also was convicted of driving while impaired in Durham County in 2014, ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said.
In a news release, Cox said Aguilar-Castellanos had been under a federal immigration judge’s removal order since January 2015. An immigration detainer also was issued to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in September 2017 after his initial arrest, Cox said.
A detainer is a request to local law enforcement to hold someone for up to 48 business hours after the time he or she would normally be released from custody, such as by posting bail. It is up to the local law enforcement agency to decide whether to honor a detainer request.
Orange County court records show Aguilar-Castellanos originally was charged with felony indecent liberties with a child and felony second-degree kidnapping. An agreement with prosecutors allowed him to plead guilty to the lesser charge and be released immediately, because he had served 293 days in jail awaiting trial, records show.
The maximum sentence he could have received for the sexual battery charges was 150 days.
Cox said the Sheriff’s Office did not keep ICE abreast of changes in Aguilar-Castellanos’ status or notify the agency when he was released. He triggered an ICE alert when he was listed in the sex offender registry on July 11.
A Raleigh-based ICE team arrested him. He is being held in the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, while awaiting his deportation to Mexico.
ICE agents also arrested four others who were in the Collins Crossing apartment with Aguilar-Castellanos — and who were living in the country illegally — according to the Spanish-language newspaper Que Pasa.
It is not the first time Orange County did not honor an ICE detainer for a registered sex offender, Cox said. The county also released a Guatemalan national convicted of sexual battery on a girl in May, he said, declining to name the person because of “ICE privacy rules.”
Monday’s arrest “demonstrates the clear threat to local public safety created when law enforcement agencies do not cooperate with ICE and instead choose to release serious criminal offenders back into the community,” Cox said.