Avon immigration raid tied to February robbery
April 7, 2008
AVON, Colorado ” Two illegal immigrants were arrested Wednesday in an immigration raid because they interfered with a two-month-old robbery investigation, Avon police said Monday.
Roberto Fausto Marquina-Banegas and Jose David Marquina-Gonzales were arrested in Avon Wednesday after they “interfered” with an investigation of a February robbery at Castaneda’s Market in Avon, said Chief Brian Kozak of the Avon Police Department. The men were not charged with a crime, Kozak said.
Kozak did not know the names of the three other suspects arrested. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released the sixth person who was arrested, Carlos Roberto Urquia, of Avon. Urquia was not a part of the robbery investigation, Kozak said.
Marquina-Banegas and Marguna-Gonzalez “intentionally misled and lied to the investigators, slowing the (robbery) investigation,” Kozak said. The men were not charged with breaking Colorado law because police did not think they could be prosecuted, Kozak said.
“These individuals were connected with a serious crime,” Kozak said. “I think anybody would agree that we don’t want them in our community.”
Immigration and Customs arrested and detained three other illegal immigrants.
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Out of the five illegal immigrants arrested, three were Hondurans and one was Mexican, said Carl Rusnok, spokesman for Immigration and Customs.
“Their arrests were relating to past criminal activity,” Rusnok said.
Avon police had a list of at least nine other illegal immigrants who failed to help Avon police in their robbery investigation, but authorities could not find them, Kozak said. Kozak declined to release their names.
“Most of the individuals on the list have previously been deported, and several have previously been deported for crimes committed in the United States,” Kozak said in a statement.
In February, three men allegedly wielded kitchen knives and tied up a man, his wife and an employee during a robbery at Castaneda’s Mexican Market.
Jose Castaneda, the store’s owner, has said the men tied up him, his wife, Maricela, and an employee and demanded money while another employee locked herself in the bathroom. Castaneda declined to say how much money was stolen.
Police are still looking for Wilian Daneri Hernandez, 23, Noel Murillo, 22, and Elder Zelaya, whose age is unknown, Kozak said. The men are wanted on charges of robbery and kidnapping in connection with the robbery, he said.
The men were “most likely” illegal immigrants and had been living in the Vail Valley for several months, Kozak has said. They are now believed to be in Honduras, he said.
Two Avon police officers and a detective and four officials from Immigrations and Customs participated in the raids at Sunridge Condominiums and at Aspens Mobile Home Village in Avon, Kozak said.
On Wednesday, authorities knocked on a Sunridge apartment door and 6-year-old Javier Vargas opened the door a crack, said John Reardon, a Glenwood Springs attorney who represents Urquia as he seeks to become a permanent legal resident through marriage to Hilda Vargas, Javier Vargas’ mother.
Authorities knocked Javier Vargas out of the way of the door, brought everyone outside the home and arrested four people, Reardon said.
Two other illegal immigrants were taken from a home in the Aspens Mobile Home Village in Avon.
Authorities unlawfully raided the home without a search warrant, violating constitutional law, Reardon said.
“They feel they have a right to do whatever they want to and then figure it out later,” Reardon said. “So pushing a kid down with a door is OK for them.”
Kozak said Immigration and Customs were invited inside the apartment. Authorities later called Javier’s mother, Hilda, s at work to let her know that she needed to come home to take care of him, Kozak said.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.