Gabriel San Roman
OC Sheriff's Department Admits to Trust Act Violation
Around 1 p.m. on April 14, a pair of Santa Ana police officers responding to complaints of gang activity in the city's Bishop Manor neighborhood encountered Samuel Sixtos-Gomez. According to police, he was walking along East Bishop Street with a "known documented gang member." Officers ran his name and found that Sixtos-Gomez had an outstanding warrant for driving without a valid license in 2008. The native of the Mexican state of Guerrero had no other prior criminal record, although he had previously entered the United States illegally and had been deported several times.
The misdemeanor offense for which police arrested Sixtos-Gomez that afternoon falls under the TRUST Act, which became law on Jan. 1 and protects undocumented, low-level offenders from being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by law-enforcement agencies. But, on April 18, after several days in the Orange County Jail, Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) officials allowed ICE agents to fetch Sixtos-Gomez at the jail and transport the 25-year-old to San Bernardino County's Adelanto Detention Center, a facility run by the Geo Group, a controversial, lawsuit-ridden private for-profit firm. He remains there until an immigration court decides if he should be deported.
Read more on my OC Weekly news feature out on newsstands tomorrow. If outside the distribution area, click the link below: