Saturday, February 03, 2007

Police Raids Yield Large Amounts Of Drugs, Illegal Aliens

By Phyllis Schaltenbrand

During the early morning hours last Saturday morning police served search warrants on residences in the 700 block of Cunningham and the 800 block of Tompkins. St. Charles Police Chief Tim Swope told the First Capitol News, “These search warrants resulted in the confiscation of a large amount of cocaine and a large amount of marijuana. Four individuals were arrested including three illegal aliens believed to be Mexican nationals.”

According to Chief Swope, “When we arrest illegal aliens and charge them with a felony we notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They respond and take the illegal aliens into custody. If we don’t have a felony charge against the individual they do not respond.”

Chief Swope stated that the St. Charles Police arrested approximately 100 illegal aliens last year. “Most of these illegals were arrested for other crimes and during our investigation we learned of their illegal status,” said Chief Swope.
“When we detain or arrest an illegal alien we notify ICE. If the illegal has been arrested for a felony ICE will come out and pick them up. If the charge is a misdemeanor they do not respond. They advise us they have limited resources and to let them go. It is very frustrating as a law enforcement officer to arrest an illegal and bring them in the front door and then have to let them walk out the back door free.”

ICE does not have the resources to take into custody and deport every illegal alien taken into detained by local police departments. According to Chief Swope, “We work very hard combating crime in St. Charles and it takes the officers time to arrest, investigate and book these illegal aliens. Then we have to let them go if they are not charged with a felony or have a outstanding warrant against them. It doesn’t make it easy.”

One St. Charles police officer who usually patrols the highways came into contact with over 200 illegal aliens last year. They were not charged with any crimes but he discovered they were illegal. After detaining them and notify ICE he was told by ICE to release them.

Another illegal alien arrested by St. Charles Police last year was wanted for murder in Chile.

Councilman John Gieseke told the First Capitol News, “ This problem is what I was speaking about at the recent Mayoral debate. This is a prime example of our hard earned tax dollars being spent on illegal aliens. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have had over 250 arrests in the past year or so. These illegal aliens are costing the City hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be used for our residents.

We need to work with our U.S. Representatives to allow cities to recoup the cost involved with these arrests and then require ICE to take responsibility for those arrested. The federal government has a responsibility to enforce our immigration laws and protect our citizens.

Chief Swope told us the American citizen arrested during the raids will face charges in St. Charles County Circuit Court. The disposition of the illegal aliens is up to ICE.