Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cape police arrest 5 undocumented immigrants (Southeast Missourian)

Cape police arrest 5 undocumented immigrants

Thursday, September 4, 2008
By Rudi Keller
Southeast Missourian

Five undocumented immigrants were arrested by a Cape Girardeau police officer who recognized one of them when he saw him driving and knew the man did not have a license, department spokesman Barry Hovis said Thursday.

Gilberto F. Hernandez, 40, Javier Claudio-Gutierrez, 21, and Masendonio Sotelo-Pina, 29, all of 624 Boxwood Drive, Apt. 4, Isidro Claudio-Gutierrez, 34, of 604 Boxwood Drive, Apt. 4, and Abel Claudio-Gutierrez, 28, of St. Louis, were riding in a car driven by Hernandez when they were pulled over by officer Paul Zajicek, Hovis said.

Zajicek had dealt with Hernandez at his home on two previous occasions and knew he did not possess a valid driver's license. He pulled Hernandez over at the intersection of Spruce Street and Boxwood Drive.

"He started checking the paperwork on those individuals and learned that none of them had paperwork to be in the United States," Hovis said. The men told Zajicek that they were working in Cape Girardeau for a roofing company.

The men were arrested and taken to the Cape Girardeau County Jail based on a hold request from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service. The immigration agency has been more willing in recent months to ask local law enforcement to hold undocumented immigrants, Hovis said. In the past, if the immigration agency did not ask for a hold undocumented immigrants would not be arrested.

"It is a matter of trying to get them to come pick them up," Hovis said. "They have been more willing to place detainers on the people we call on."

The arrests aren't the first in recent weeks. The Cape Girardeau police picked up 11 undocumented immigrants about a month ago, Hovis said.

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