VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 3   | JANUARY 19 – 25, 2011


Criminal aliens and the 287(g) program

PHOENIX – Until the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) entered into a 287(g) Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2006, which delegated qualified ADC personnel the authority to perform certain functions of an immigration officer from within its jurisdiction, criminal aliens were simply released after serving their time.

In 2006, ADC identified 414 criminal aliens for removal under the program. It is not clear, however, those identified for removal are actually removed. And as the two examples that follow indicate, some aliens never leave while others come right back.

In 2007, as other jurisdictions entered the 287(g) program, ADC identified 1,912 for removal, while Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office identified 3,056, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office identified 167 and Department of Public Safety identified 91.

Since 2006, a total of 50,149 aliens have been identified for removal in Arizona. ADC has identified a total of 11,768 criminal aliens for removal, while MCSO has identified 36,371; YCSO, 1,021; DPS 516; Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, which joined the program in 2008, identified 371; Mesa Police Department, which joined the program in 2010, identified 98; and Phoenix Police Department, which also joined the program in 2010, identified only four for removal.

rodrigo peredo-villaRodrigo Peredo-Villa
Rodrigo Peredo-Villa, 29, an illegal alien from Mexico, was arrested on Jan. 10, 2011 and booked into Maricopa County Jail on felony charges of possession of a weapon by a prohibited person, aggravated DUI/driving on a license suspended or revoked for DUI, unlawful flight from a law enforcement vehicle, and a misdemeanor count of trespassing.

Peredo is also still on parole since his release from ADC on Sept. 11, 2010 after serving nearly four years of two concurrent five-year sentences for a 2005 narcotic drug violation and a 2006 burglary conviction, class 2 and class 3 felonies, respectively.

However, Peredo’s trouble with the law in Arizona dates back to 2000.

In July 2000, Peredo failed to appear for his August court date and a warrant was issued for his arrest after being cited by Phoenix police for failure to show driver license or ID, no valid license, failure to produce evidence of financial responsibility, no registration, and a child passenger restraint violation.

In September 2000, Peredo was arrested for armed robbery. While in custody, he appeared and pled guilty to the charges on his outstanding traffic warrant.

Records indicate Peredo was subsequently sentenced to probation for the robbery charge. However, while on probation he was arrested again. He pled guilty to an amended count of theft, had his probation revoked in November 2000 and was committed to a term of 1.5 years imprisonment at ADC with presentence incarceration credit of 132 days.

It wasn’t until Peredo was committed to ADC in 2006 that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was alerted to Peredo’s status as an illegal alien.

While Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano proclaimed last June the “border is as secure now as it has ever been,” Peredo, still on parole, was back in Arizona committing crimes only months after being removed to Mexico by ICE in September 2010.

According to ICE Public Affairs Officer Vincent Picard, “ICE identified Rodrigo Pereda-Villa as a Mexican citizen unlawfully present in the United States while he was serving a five-year prison sentence for burglary in Arizona. Pursuant to a detainer, the Arizona Department of Corrections turned Pereda over to ICE following his imprisonment and he was removed from the United States to Mexico on Sept. 11, 2010. Based on his criminal history, ICE will seek federal felony charges of illegally re-entering the United States following the adjudication of his current charges.”

abdolsamad mobadi sorkabiAbdolsamad Mobadi Sorkhabi, aka Samad M. Sorkhabi
On Jan. 12, 2011, Abdolsamad Mobadi Sorkhabi, aka Samad M. Sorkhabi, 48, an Iranian national and resident alien, was arrested and booked into the Maricopa County Jail for a misdemeanor charge of failure to comply with a court order.

Sorkhabi’s criminal record in Arizona also appears to date back to 2000, when he pled guilty to resisting arrest as a class 6 undesignated offense.

He was placed on probation for three years, commencing June 19, 2000.

In April 2001, Sorkhabi pled guilty to resisting arrest again, and this time was charged with a class 6 felony.

As part of his plea agreement, the court agreed to dismiss the allegation of Sorkhabi’s prior felony conviction and that he was on probation at the time of the offense.

In June 2001, Sorkhabi pled guilty to a September 2000 charge of resisting arrest as an undesignated class 6 offense.

The court suspended sentence and granted Sorkhabi supervised probation for a period of three years. However, this time, as a condition of his probation, Sorkhabi was ordered to serve six months in jail.

Sorkhabi was able to successfully get one of his resisting arrest charges dismissed in May 2002, arguing the state lacked jurisdiction because Sorkhabi committed the offense on an Indian reservation and the victims involved were Indians.

The state appealed the lower court’s decision to dismiss the charge, which was upheld by the Arizona Court of Appeals.

The facts in the case were undisputed, however.

In January 2000, Sorkhabi became disruptive at Casino Arizona, located on the Salt-River Pima Indian Reservation. Sorkhabi struggled with tribal police when they attempted to arrest him for his disruptive behavior and refusing to leave the casino when requested.

Sorkhabi was subsequently charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, criminal damage and aggravated assault on a police officer.

In September 2003, Sorkhabi pled guilty to an amended charge of aggravated harassment and was placed on probation, once again, for a period of three years.

His probation included Condition 20, which ordered that he “Not remain in or return to the United States illegally if deported or processed through voluntary departure.”

As part of his probation Sorkhabi was ordered to serve two months in the Maricopa County Jail.

In July 2004, Sorkhabi was in court again for violating the conditions of his probation.

Maricopa County Superior Judge Pro Tem Shellie Smith ordered his probation revoked, designated the offense a felony and ordered Sorkhabi committed to ADC for a term of one year with pre-sentence incarceration credit of 144 days.

Although records indicate the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service had a hold on Sorkhabi at the time he was admitted to ADC, Sorkhabi was released from prison on Feb. 8, 2005.

Records also indicate a search warrant was served on Sorkhabi in April 2006 and he was charged with making a false report to law enforcement. However the complaint was later dismissed by the court for filing too late.

While the 287(g) program has proven to be a valuable tool for identifying and removing undesirable aliens, it would appear more could be done.

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