Immigration Status of New Rape Suspects Unconfirmed; 3 Have Police Records - Southern Maryland Headline News

Immigration Status of New Rape Suspects Unconfirmed; 3 Have Police Records


CALLAWAY, Md. (April 5, 2010)—Police in Charles County today announced they have developed four more suspects in the March 16 sexual assault of a woman abducted from an Alexandria, Virginia nightclub. One of the four was arrested on March 31 in Newark, New Jersey by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and local law enforcement. This brings the total number of arrests in the case to seven.

While the involvement of ICE in the case presents the appearance that one or more suspects are illegal immigrants, Corey Basset of ICE public affairs in Washington, D.C. was unable to confirm their immigration status, citing restrictions presented by the agency's privacy policy.

Three of the four new suspects have previous police records in Maryland.

Jose Maria Echebarria, 30, of Waldorf, the man arrested in Newark, was charged with first and second degree assault on Sept. 30, 2006. The case involved Spanish language interpreters and the public defenders office. Both charges are identified with a disposition of "NOLLE PROSEQUI," typically meaning the charges were dropped.

The Maryland Judiciary Case Search database also lists assault and attempted second degree murder charges against a man of the same exact name and street address on May 20, 2007. However the date of birth, height, and weight vary significantly from the other man.

Coincidentally, the Sheriff's Office press release on March 18 regarding the first six arrests indicated that detectives could not confirm that the identities provided by the suspects were true.

Jose Santos Portillo, 25, has a traffic violation dated July 6, 2009 for driving without a license and negligent driving. The case involved Spanish language interpreters and the public defenders office. Both charges are identified with a disposition of "NOLLE PROSEQUI."

Balmoris Argueta, 26, has 6 active traffic cases listed, in addition to 3 closed traffic cases and one probation case—all between April 15, 2008 and Feb. 15, 2010. Charges in the active cases range from failure to display license and registration to an officer; Negligent Driving Vehicle in Careless and Imprudent Manner Endangering Property, Life and Person; and Driving Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol. Argueta was found guilty in two of the three closed cases.

No records for the fourth suspect, Lionicio Argueta, also known as Francisco Orellana, 29, could be found in the Maryland Judiciary Case Search database.

The case is being investigated by the Charles County Sheriff's Office.

RELATED INFORMATION:

Four Additional Suspects Identified in Waldorf Gang Rape, April 05, 2010
http://somd.com/news/headlines/2010/11634.shtml

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