Federal immigration officials say Oregon authorities prevented them from detaining for deportation an illegal immigrant from Mexico who is now charged in the brutal stabbing death of his wife, whose body was found in a ditch Sunday.
The case marks the latest dispute between federal authorities and Oregon over the state’s “sanctuary” laws regarding illegal immigrants.
The suspect, identified as Martin Gallo-Gallardo, 45, had been released in March by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office after prosecutors dismissed assault allegations against him. His wife and daughter stopped cooperating and a grand jury refused to indict him, FOX 12 Oregon reported.
The body of his wife, Coral Rodriguez-Lorenzo, 38, of Portland, was found near the Sandy River in the Bull Run-Sandy area east of Portland. She had been stabbed multiple times, authorities said.
Gallo-Gallardo was arrested this week and charged in the killing, according to an affidavit.
Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said the federal agency placed a civil detainer hold on Gallo-Gallardo while he was in custody in Portland so it could begin deportation proceedings. The agency said the sheriff’s department didn’t honor the request because of the state’s sanctuary laws.