MS-13 Gang Member Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Re-Entering the U.S.

Published on March 1st, 2012

Today's commentary is predicated on a news release that was posted on the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) website on February 16, 2012.

There are many reasons why this ICE news release is important.

First, the release provides information about how the immigration crisis is not limited to the states found in proximity of our nation's southern border. Felix Noel Arevalo-Cantarero, aka Felix Noe Arevalo-Cantarero, is an alien from El Salvador who was arrested in the state of Maryland, a state that is nearly as far from the U.S.-Mexican border as you can get.

He is a member of MS-13, a violent gang whose membership includes aliens from Latin America – predominantly El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. It is significant to know that the FBI recently estimated there are some 1.4 million members of violent gangs in the United States. While not all gang members are illegal aliens, a significant percentage of gang members are, indeed, illegal aliens.

A recent report by the FBI also noted that there is a growing threat posed by increasing numbers of gang members joining our military where they are learning military tactics and how to use high-powered weapons, many of which are being stolen.

On October 26, 2011, Military News published a disturbing article referencing that FBI report, entitled, “FBI Says Gangs Infiltrating the U.S. Military.”

As you read the account of Mr. Arevalo-Cantarero you will see that his life revolves around violence, as a gang member and as an apparent sociopath to whom violence is a way of life.

According to the news release, Arevalo-Cantarero had been convicted of joining with two other MS-13 members and attacking three victims, leaving one of the victims with what would appear to be life-altering injuries as a result of having had his skull fractured.

The news release did not furnish any information about the citizenship of the two other gang members who participated in the vicious attack, nor was any information provided as to how any of them had entered the United States, presuming that the two other gang members were aliens. It is likely, however, that members of MS-13 from Latin America would have entered the United States by running the U.S.-Mexican border – the border that Ms. Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security, insists is secure!

Here is an excerpt from the ICE news release that reports on the vicious assault in which Arevalo-Cantarero and his cohorts participated:

In 2009, Arevalo-Cantarero was part of an MS-13 assault. In that case, Arevalo-Cantarero and two other men approached two males and one female shouting derogatory slurs. One of the males was dressed as a woman at the time of the assault. Arevalo-Cantarero and the others identified themselves as MS-13 gang members and began throwing rocks at the victims. One of the victims was hit in the head by a rock, fracturing the victim's skull, and causing severe internal bleeding. The victim suffered significant pain and loss of memory and motor function.It is impossible to know what the judge was thinking when he sentenced Arevalo-Cantarero to 20 years in prison for his role in the attack and then reportedly suspended all but six months of that jail sentence. But if I had to guess, the judge may have been thinking about the high cost of incarcerating prisoners and felt that, since this defendant was to be deported, a few months in jail followed by deportation were appropriate. (I wonder what the victim of the crime and his family thought about the “logic” behind this reasoning, if this were the case!)

Arevalo-Cantarero was deported to his native El Salvador on November 18, 2010 and ordered to not return to the United States without appropriate authorization.

Here is the account of how Arevalo-Cantarero was discovered by the police as noted in the ICE news release:

On July 31, 2011, Frederick police officers, responding to a report of a stabbing, found Arevalo-Cantarero in a playground, suffering from numerous cutting/stabbing wounds to the head and neck. He was taken to Hagerstown Medical Center and was arrested upon his release from the hospital. Further investigation revealed that Arevalo-Cantarero is an active MS-13 member, part of the Fulton Clique, which is active in the Frederick area. Arevalo-Cantarero was in Frederick attending a party, along with other MS-13 members and associates, when the stabbing occurred. Investigators found that the stabbing was related to MS-13 activity.

The investigation was conducted by HSI and the Frederick Police Department, Hagerstown Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Please give some thought to the circumstances surrounding this incident. The officers found him when they responded to a report of the stabbing of a victim at a playground, of all places! (His assailants were not playing – but imagine what this sort of mayhem does to law abiding residents of a community!) Think about how such an attack can impact the way that decent people live. Think about how children would likely be kept from that park for fear that they might get caught up in it and, if these kids are in their teens and especially if they are of Hispanic ethnicity, how they themselves may be recruited into MS-13 or a rival gang by being in the proverbial “wrong place at the wrong time!”

Again it was not noted, but it must be presumed that Arevalo-Cantarero evaded the inspections process and ran the supposedly secure southern border of the United States sometime between November 18, 2010, the day he was deported from the United States, and July 21, 2011, the day he was discovered, in that playground, suffering from knife wounds.

This means that he had entered the United States illegally during Ms. Napolitano's watch at DHS, an agency I have come to refer to as the Department of Homeland Surrender for obvious reasons! Recently Secretary Napolitano said that the “spillover” of violence from Mexico was not a problem for the United States. On February 23, Fox News Latino published my Op-Ed about my concerns about this. My Op-Ed was entitled, “Border Spillover Violence is a National Reality.”

Finally, consider how often news reports discuss how having local police work with ICE can have a chilling effect on police/community relations. (Pardon the pun!)

Nothing could be further from the truth!

The local cops could not have arrested Arevalo on any state charges when they found him – after all, he was the victim of a violent attack. What enabled law enforcement to take this violent thug off the streets was the authority that is vested in ICE to arrest and have criminal charges brought against him for unlawful re-entry. It will also be up to ICE to seek to have him deported, once again.

If ICE had not gotten involved in this case, this dangerous convict would likely have simply been put back on the street, endangering the lives of those around him.

It is important to, once again, make it clear that the purpose of our nation's immigration laws is to protect our nation and all who live in our country from those aliens whose presence is problematic. Yet we continue to see our government refusing to allocate resources to enforce these critically important laws and, for the most part, even the GOP candidates for the Presidency have failed to demonstrate their true commitment to the enforcement of these laws, rarely willing to talk about the real importance of these laws and generally limiting their discussions to talk about border fences and E-Verify.

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