OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is responding to a press release from ICE claiming they failed to honor an ICE detainer, releasing an undocumented immigrant from jail before ICE could get there.
“They say that he was charged with rape,” Mark Myers with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office said.
Myers is talking about 38-year-old Ulises Perez, an undocumented immigrant.
“Oklahoma City police department did their investigation and found that they didn’t have evidence to hold this guy on the charge they brought him in on,” Myers said.
However, officials with ICE sent out a press release on Thursday claiming he was charged with first-degree rape.
“That’s not true. He was never charged with rape. He was brought in on a complaint,” Myers said.
The release went on to say the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office failed to honor an ICE detainer and released Perez before their agents could pick him up, adding that he went right to his alleged victim’s home.
“We called ICE in Dallas and we told them this individual is going to be released. If you want him, to come pick him up. They had an hour and a half almost two hours, they refused to show up,” Myers said.
Officials with ICE told News 4 that they got the call at 2 a.m. on October 9th, Perez was released at three a.m. and it wasn’t enough time for them to get there.
“A detainer, that is just a request to hold someone for something. That’s something that we have asked the district attorney for an opinion as far as honoring a detainer,” Myers said.
That will take some time, but the D.A. said the sheriff’s office complied with the law.
In the release, ICE also implied Oklahoma County is one of the “sanctuary jurisdictions.”
“That’s ridiculous, and that shows the political drive behind this. Oklahoma County has never been considered a sanctuary city or a county,” Myers said.
Hours after the first release, ICE sent out another release with this update:
“News release updated 10/10/19 to update the investigating agency as the Oklahoma City Police Department, to acknowledge that charges have not been formally brought at this time pending further investigation and to provide additional clarifying information regarding the ICE relationship with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.”