Lars Larson Show: Criminal Alien of the Week Report
March 21, 2023
This week we have in the third full week of March 2023 a “Criminal Alien of the Week Report” for your radio listeners and webpage followers that is an update on a criminal case of another illegal alien who killed an adult female Oregon resident more than a decade ago.
Some history, on Mother Day May 11, 2008 Leonel Zurita-Loeza while Driving Under Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) crashed the vehicle he was driving into a car driven by Carma Colleen Smith killing the 52-year old wife, mother of seven and grandmother of four, a resident of Dayton, a town located in Yamhill County, Oregon.
Leonel Zurita-Loeza was on a Diversion for a previous DUII out of Washington County when he killed Mrs Smith.
On May 12, 2008 Leonel Zurita-Loeza was arrested by the Oregon State Police (OSP) and transported and booked into the Yamhill County Jail in McMinnville, Oregon.
The criminal case against Leonel Zurita-Loeza (Case Number: CR080239) was prosecuted in Yamhill County Circuit Court where on August 12, 2008 he pled guilty and was sentenced to prison for approximately 15-years by a circuit court judge for the crimes of one count of Manslaughter I, four counts of Assault III and one count of DUII.
On August 14, 2008 Leonel Zurita-Loeza (SID: 17045856; DOB: 09/20/1981) entered into the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) prison system at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility intake center, his earliest release date being set at March 21, 2023.
“Criminal Alien of the Week Report” research indicates that since September 1, 2008 a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immigration detainer was placed on Leonel Zurita-Loeza while he has been incarcerated in the DOC prison system.
According to former Pacific Northwest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Tanya Roman statement from October 11, 2018 Mexican national Leonel Zurita-Loeza is illegally in the United States, an immigration detainer was placed on him while he has been incarcerated in the DOC prison system.
Back to the present, seeking information on Leonel Zurita-Loeza’s current immigration status on Thursday, March 9, 2023 the “Criminal Alien of the Week Report” contacted via e-mail U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Public Affairs Director of Communications, Northwest Region Alethea Smock.
A March 16, 2023 online search by the “Criminal Alien of the Week Report” on the Oregon Department of Corrections Oregon Offender Search webpage revealed Leonel Zurita-Loeza, age 41, was incarcerated at the Santiam Correctional Institution located in Salem, Oregon.
Knowing the estimated release date of Leonel Zurita-Loeza, the “Criminal Alien of the Week Report” contacted on March 17, 2023 Oregon Department of Corrections Communications Manager Amber Campbell with the following three questions:
Will the Oregon Department of Corrections officials or officers honor the more than decade long U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immigration detainer placed on Leonel Zurita-Loeza on or after the DOC’s earliest release date for Zurita-Loeza of March 21, 2023 and then transfer custody of him to ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers?
Furthermore, if Oregon Department of Corrections prison officials in the past allowed ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers some form of access to criminal alien inmates with ICE immigration detainers, at what date (month and year) did DOC prison officials cut off access of ERO officers to interview or take into custody prison inmates?
If Oregon Department of Corrections officials or officers don’t on or after the DOC’s earliest release date of March 21, 2023 for Leonel Zurita-Loeza transfer custody of him to ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers, what county will Zurita-Loeza be released into to be on parole/probation to serve his 36-months of court ordered post prison supervision?
On the same day, March 17th, DOC Communications Manager Amber Campbell responded to the “Criminal Alien of the Week Report’s” questions in this way:
“House Bill 3265 was passed and signed into law July 19, 2021. This law prevents DOC from using ICE detainers. If the Adult In Custody is a foreigner or was born outside the United States, DOC is not to place an ICE detainers on the AIC.
In reference to Leonel Zurita-Loeza, he was admitted to DOC custody on 8/14/2008 and remains incarcerated with an earliest release date of 3/21/2023. He will be under post-prison supervision after his release from prison.” – Amber Campbell, DOC Communications Manager.
On Monday, March 20, 2023 ICE Public Affairs Director of Communications, Northwest Region, Alethea Smock responded via e-mail with the following statement on Leonel Zurita-Loeza:
Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that protects the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of our communities and the integrity of our immigration laws. As part of routine operations, ERO targets and arrests non-citizens who commit crimes and have violated our nation’s immigration laws.
• Leonel Zurita-Loeza, 41, is a citizen of Mexico who was convicted of manslaughter, assault in the 3rd degree and DUI by Yamhill County Circuit Court, Oregon, August 12, 2008. Zurita is a noncitizen present in the U.S. without admission or parole. Entering the United States without authorization is a violation of federal law, and those who do so may be subject to administrative arrest as well as criminal prosecution.
• According to the Oregon Department of Corrections, Zurita is scheduled to be released from custody March 21. Oregon will no longer honor the immigration detainer due to sanctuary laws and he will be released into the community without notification to ICE.
• “At-large” arrests, in general, refer to those apprehensions that occur beyond (outside) the confines of a secure facility, such as a local law enforcement jail or prison. In other words, at-large apprehensions indicate ERO officers conducted a targeted arrest within a community.” – Alethea Smock, ICE Public Affairs Director of Communications, Northwest Region.
Analysis, the Oregon Department of Corrections’ pending release of convicted killer, serial DUII driver, criminal alien Leonel Zurita-Loeza back into the state is the direct result of sanctuary laws; like HB 3265 passed by Oregon State Legislature in 2021 and signed into law by Governor Kate Brown, a anti-federal immigration enforcement law that prevents DOC prison officials and all the state’s law enforcement agencies from cooperating with ICE Enforcement Removal Operations in the safe removal of real dangerous dysfunctional people from the United States of America.
Leonel Zurita-Loeza, soon to out of custody of both the Oregon Department of Corrections and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, continues to be the tip of the iceberg of criminal aliens being released from the DOC prison system back into the state without the notification of ICE Enforcement Removal Operations.
Prior to the time of Mexican national Leonel Zurita-Loeza’s estimated March 21, 2023 release date from the DOC prison system, just after HB 3265 became a state law, on August 1, 2021 there were 731 criminal aliens incarcerated in the state’s prisons, 16 months later, on December 1, 2022 there were 595 criminal aliens incarcerated in the state’s prisons — the difference of these preceding numbers mean as many as 136 criminal aliens were released back into Oregon counties without DOC prison officials being able to notify ICE Enforcement Removal Operations of their release from prison.
Lars, the third full week in the month of March 2023 and another “Criminal Alien of the Week Report” for Lars Larson Show KXL FM 101.1 Pacific Northwest radio listeners and website followers.
David Olen Cross
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