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Fri Nov 29, 2019, 12:15 PM

Maryland Police Held A Man For ICE After He Was Cited For Cutting Down A Tree. Now, He's Suing

NOV 26, 4:43 PM

Maryland Police Held A Man For ICE After He Was Cited For Cutting Down A Tree. Now, He’s Suing
Natalie Delgadillo

A Maryland man is suing a state police agency after he says several officers violated his rights by detaining him for federal immigration authorities. Months later, he remains in custody.

José Ricardo Villalta Canales, a Rockville resident with Salvadoran nationality, was helping his uncle cut down a tree on his property in August when the arrest occurred, according to the lawsuit. Officers with the Natural Resources Police, a state police force at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, showed up at the scene and ticketed Villalta for cutting down the tree without the necessary license.

According to the suit, the officers swiftly wrote Villalta a ticket for $320. But when they ran Villalta’s license through their database to check for outstanding warrants, officers saw that there was a civil immigration warrant open for him with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They then held Villalta for more than two hours as ICE agents traveled to take him into custody for an alleged civil immigration violation, his lawyers say.

“This abuse of power upended Mr. Villalta’s life, separating him from him family and community; has caused a fear of law enforcement throughout his community; and violated the United States Constitution,” says a press release from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee, which is representing Villalta along with the firm Latham and Watkins LLP.

The Washington Post was the first to report on the lawsuit. Villalta has now been held in ICE custody for more than 100 days. He is 31 years old, and he came to the U.S. from El Salvador as an unaccompanied minor more than 13 years ago after the death of a parent, according to the suit.
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Reply Maryland Police Held A Man For ICE After He Was Cited For Cutting Down A Tree. Now, He's Suing (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 29 OP
SWBTATTReg Nov 29 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Nov 29, 2019, 01:19 PM

1. You have to get a permit to cut a tree down on your own property? Any rationale to this? NT

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