DENVER (CBS4) – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says an undocumented immigrant accused of attacking a woman along the High Line Canal was released from custody shortly before the crime. Julio Andres Gonzalez-Palacios, 23, was arrested in a separate assault and burglary case in Denver on July 9. He was released from the Denver Justice Center on July 10.
ICE filed a civil immigration detainer for Gonzalez-Palacio, which is a written request for law enforcement agencies to notify ICE before an inmate is released. Detainers also request that jails hold an inmate up to 48 hours beyond their scheduled release.
Colorado enacted a sanctuary law in 2019 that prohibits law enforcement agencies from holding an inmate solely on the basis of an ICE detainer. The jail can notify ICE that the inmate is about to be released, but they are not required to do so.
Under the sanctuary law, jail officials are not allowed to facilitate the transfer of an inmate into ICE custody. In many cases, ICE officials will wait in the jail lobby until the inmate is released.
The Denver Sheriff Department notified ICE of Gonzalez-Palacio’s release at 4:03 p.m. on July 10. Gonzalez-Palacio was released three and a half hours later at 7:31 p.m.
The next day, investigators said Gonzalez-Palacio used a board to hit a woman jogging near 1st Avenue and Moline Street in Aurora. The woman was seriously injured and is still in the hospital.
Detectives used GPS data from Gonzalez-Palacio’s ankle monitor to link him to the July 11th assault. Gonzalez-Palacios is now in custody at the Arapahoe County Jail, charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
“This was a completely preventable crime,” said John Fabbricatore, field office director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in Denver. “Gonzalez-Palacios could have been safely transferred to ICE custody and he may have been removed from the country, but due to Colorado’s misguided sanctuary law, law enforcement agencies are no longer able to work with us to keep repeat offenders off the streets.”
ICE has filed a detainer for Gonzalez-Palacio with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office. Gonzalez-Palacios has several convictions in the Denver area since 2017, including theft, assault, failure to appear and trespassing.
In December, ICE criticized Colorado’s sanctuary law after an undocumented immigrant was released from the Arapahoe County Jail and later arrested and charged with attempted murder. The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office tells CBS4 they notified ICE before the inmate was released from custody.