Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityMontgomery County vows to obey ICE detainer in 'horrible' alleged rape of 11-year-old girl | WJLA
Close Alert

Montgomery County vows to obey ICE detainer in 'horrible' alleged rape of 11-year-old girl

Mauricio Barrera-Navidad (left) and Carlos Palacios-Amaya (right) (Courtesy: Montgomery County Police Dept.)
Mauricio Barrera-Navidad (left) and Carlos Palacios-Amaya (right) (Courtesy: Montgomery County Police Dept.)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has vowed to obey ICE detainers lodged against two undocumented immigrants accused of raping an 11-year-old girl.

The criminal case, which ABC7 broke earlier this week, has ignited a firestorm due, in large part, to both suspect's immigration status and the horrific violence they are alleged to have carried out.

According to Montgomery County Police, Carlos Palacios-Amaya, 28, of Gaithersburg, and Mauricio Barrera-Navidad, 29, of Damascus, raped the 11-year-old girl last year on separate occasions. Both men are friends with the victim's older brother, police report. The victim recently shared her story with a social worker at her middle school in Germantown.

MORE: ICE: Undocumented immigrants in Md. rape friend's 11-year-old sister on separate occasions

Authorities arrested Palacios-Amaya and Barrera-Navidad on July 25 and July 26 respectively. Only days earlier, Elrich and the nine-member county council gathered in downtown Rockville to champion a new executive order aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants.

Elrich's executive order formally banned Montgomery County employees from asking residents about their immigration status. Violators now risk disciplinary action to include termination. The executive order also barred ICE from entering secure portions of Montgomery County's jails, effective immediately.

In an exclusive interview with ABC7, ICE blasted Montgomery County for putting politics ahead of public safety.

“That is bad for public safety. It’s bad for Maryland's citizens. It’s bad for Maryland’s immigrants. Somebody is going to get hurt," said Frank Madrigal, the deputy director of ICE's Baltimore Field Office.

In a written statement released at 8:50 p.m. Wednesday, Elrich called the alleged, repeated rape of an 11-year-old girl "horrible." Elrich further expressed confidence that "justice will be served" within the court system.

But will Montgomery County abide by the immigration detainers ICE has lodged against Palacios-Amaya and Barrera-Navidad? Elrich says yes, explaining that his new executive order blocking ICE's access to county lockups does not pertain to cases involving "serious crimes."

It remains unclear if county leaders have compiled a list of "serious crimes" or if they are handling ICE detainers on a subjective, case-by-case basis. ABC7 has asked for clarity on no less than three occasions dating back to July 25. No answers have been provided as of this story's publication.


Meanwhile, the criminal case continues to inch along in court. Defense attorneys Maria Mena and Kathleen Dolan have teamed up, representing both Barrera-Navidad and Palacios-Amaya. Speaking by telephone Wednesday, Dolan told ABC7 her clients are innocent until proven guilty.

Mena made local headlines in 2017 when she represented Jose Montano, one of two undocumented immigrants accused of raping a 14-year-old female student in a bathroom stall at Rockville High School. Prosecutors ultimately dropped all charges against Henry Sanchez Milian and Montano, who were 18 and 17-years-old at the time.

READ THE STORY: Officials say child porn charges dropped against teen once accused of raping girl at Md. HS

Montgomery County District Court Judge Sherri Koch granted Barrera-Navidad a $100,000 (post 10 percent) bond. He remains incarcerated while awaiting trial.

Montgomery County District Court Judge Eric Nee denied Palacios-Amaya bond, perhaps because he is charged with four rape counts while Barrera-Navidad is charged with one.

In December 2016, an immigration judge issued Barrera-Navidad a "final order of removal." It's unclear why the Salvadoran national remained in the country.

In 2014, federal authorities removed Palacios-Amaya from the U.S. for an undisclosed reason. The 28-year-old — who ICE referred to as a "repeat immigration violator" — returned to the U.S. on an unknown date. He too is a native of El Salvador.


ICE blames 'political rhetoric' for violence against offices as immigration tensions rise

'We are coming after you': ICE raids target employers, 680 undocumented workers

Comment bubble

One of ICE's most wanted human-traffickers captured in Michigan

Loading ...