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Babeu: ICE lied about crimes of released immigrants

PHOENIX -- Claims by Immigration and Customs Enforcement that hundreds of illegal immigrants who were released from detention centers last week were low-risk and non-violent is completely false, said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

Babeu said federal whistle blowers are telling him that some of the immigrants released have serious criminal histories.

"Drug smugglers with cartel ties, forgery, aggravated assault on police officers, convicted child molesters. Everything these whistle blowers have said has checked out almost completely."

The sheriff said he has also been informed that some of those who were released were facing manslaughter charges and several of those who were released were convicted of extreme DUI.

"What happens when they get into a head on collision with a family? Who will be responsible? Certainly not me or the governor. It's Janet Napolitano and whomever was involved in this."

Babeu said California Congressman Darrell Issa has announced that he will be launching a formal investigation into this matter.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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