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North Carolina man sentenced for assaulting Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers

A Greenville man was sentenced July 27 to two years of probation, six months of house arrest and 60 days intermittent confinement for assaulting two Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina. Daniel Oliver-Perez, 21, pleaded guilty to the charges on October 17, 2019.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Oliver-Perez was charged in a two-count criminal information charging him with assaulting, resisting or impeding ICE officers while they were attempting to execute an administrative arrest warrant against Oliver-Perez’s father.

According to the investigation, Oliver-Perez’s father attempted to enter the United States in 2014 using a Texas birth certificate and Texas identification card in an assumed name. The release stated that Oliver-Perez’s father was arrested by immigration officials for attempted entry into the United States by means of a false claim of United States citizenship.  Later that year, Oliver-Perez’s father was convicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas of attempted illegal entry by false and misleading representation, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1325(a)(3). Oliver-Perez’s father was subsequently served a Notice and Order of Expedited Removal.

“Oliver-Perez’s father was granted multiple stays of removal between 2014 and 2017,” stated the release. “However, after multiple filings by Oliver-Perez’s father, ICE no longer granted the request, and Oliver-Perez’s father was directed to appear at the ICE office in Charlotte, North Carolina, with tickets to depart the United States before December 16, 2017.”

On November 16, 2017, Oliver-Perez’s father appeared with an itinerary in his name and a confirmed scheduled flight departing on December 10, 2017, with an ultimate destination of Mexico. “On the date of the flight, Oliver-Perez’s father failed to show or report to ICE,” stated the release. “At that point, Oliver-Perez’s father became a fugitive for not departing the United States as directed, and for being in violation of the conditions on the order of supervision.”

Based on news reports, Oliver-Perez’s father had been living at the City Well United Methodist Church in Durham since his failure to depart.

On October 12, 2018, Oliver-Perez’s father filed a request for deferred action with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). As a result of the request, USCIS generated an Application Support Center (ASC) appointment notice, according to the release. The appointment notice scheduled fingerprinting of Oliver-Perez’s father at the ASC office in Morrisville on November 23, 2018 at 9 a.m.

“The fingerprinting appointment of Oliver-Perez’s father was advertised through several social media outlets, inviting people to gather at the ASC on the date and time of the appointment,” stated the release. “Approximately a month prior to the appointment, an immigrant advocacy group posted an ‘event’ on Facebook to ‘accompany [Oliver-Perez’s father] to his Biometrics.’ The social media posting provided the appointment date of November 23, 2018, at the USCIS office in Morrisville, North Carolina.”

ICE learned about Oliver-Perez’s father’s appointment through the social media posting of the appointment and initiated efforts to apprehend Oliver-Perez’s father.

On November 23, 2018, ICE officers were present at the ASC in order to execute an arrest warrant against Oliver-Perez’s father.

“ICE officers were positioned in various areas of the ASC building. A Supervisor Detention and Deportation Officer was inside the ACS building in the waiting area. At approximately 9:00 AM, the officer observed Oliver-Perez’s father and Oliver-Perez entering the ASC. The officer observed both Oliver-Perez’s father and Oliver-Perez stand in line to obtain a number to pass to the processing area,” stated the release. “Once Oliver-Perez’s father was standing in line, and Oliver-Perez was standing behind him, the officer alerted the other ICE officers and approached Oliver-Perez’s father. The officer identified himself as an immigration officer and told Oliver-Perez’s father that he needed to come with the officer. Oliver-Perez grabbed his father by the jacket while ICE officers were trying to arrest Oliver-Perez’s father.”

According to the release, the ICE officer and another officer attempted to subdue Oliver-Perez to prevent him from continuing to hold onto his father’s jacket. “Meanwhile, yet another officer was attempting to arrest Oliver-Perez’s father,” stated the release. “While they were attempting to do this, all four fell on the floor and an officer was able to handcuff Oliver-Perez’s father. Two officers were attempting to remove Oliver-Perez’s father from the waiting area through the back door where some people were trying to block the way out.

“As Oliver-Perez’s father was being escorted out, Oliver-Perez tried to get a hold of his father once again. The officer grabbed Oliver-Perez around the waist to prevent Oliver-Perez’s interference with Oliver-Perez’s father’s arrest,” the release continued. “Oliver-Perez grabbed the officer by the neck in a chokehold grip. The officer instructed Oliver-Perez to let him go. After several seconds, the officer was able to release himself from Oliver-Perez’s grip. During the altercation, the officer sustained a cut on his hand and had difficulty breathing during the chokehold.”

According to the release, Oliver-Perez then approached the ICE transporting van, which was at that point surrounded by people obstructing the vehicle’s departure. “The assigned driver of the van was another ICE officer. The officer was sitting on the driver’s seat and upon reaching the door, Oliver-Perez gained access to the inside of van and hit the officer on the head and chest area with his right hand while grabbing the steering wheel with his left hand,” stated the release. “The officer was able to turn his body towards the door and leaned back repelling Oliver-Perez. The door appeared to be damaged and the officer had to exit the vehicle in order to close it. The officer was able to get back into the vehicle and shut the doors.”

The release stated that Oliver-Perez again engaged in a physical confrontation with the first officer, at which time Oliver-Perez placed his hands on the clothing of the officer, causing his shirt to rip.

“Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal law enforcement agency responsible for the enforcement of our immigration laws. As with any law enforcement agency this office will not tolerate the obstruction, resisting or assaulting of those that we have entrusted to enforce our laws” said Acting United States Attorney G. Norman Acker III.

“Today’s sentencing sends the message that interfering with our officers while they carry out their legal duty will not be tolerated,” said Francisco Madrigal, interim field office director for the Atlanta Field Office on July 27. “Protecting our officers while they serve the public is one of the greatest concerns law enforcement agencies have, and we are thankful for the great partnerships we have with the US Attorney’s Office and throughout the law enforcement community.

Acker III made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.

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