A judge in California has criticized as "disruptive" last week's arrest of a suspect inside a courtroom by personnel from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The ICE arrest of Yovanny Ontiveros-Cebreros inside a Sacramento courtroom was considered a first for California, the Fresno Bee reported. Previous arrests since mid-July were conducted in the hallways, the report said.
Sacramento County Superior Court Presiding Judge David De Alba said he would work with local authorities, and ICE if necessary, to prevent the situation from happening again, according to the Bee.
“Arrests that occur inside of a state courthouse and especially inside of a courtroom are disruptive of courtroom proceedings.”
“Arrests that occur inside of a state courthouse and especially inside of a courtroom are disruptive of courtroom proceedings,” De Alba said a statement.
ICE reportedly had an arrest warrant for Ontiveros-Cebreros.
“Our Court regrets the decision by ICE agents to execute an arrest warrant inside one of our courtrooms," he said. "The fear of immigration arrest deters witnesses and crime victims from coming forward to participate in the prosecution of crimes and the resolution of child custody, landlord-tenant, personal injury, and other claims."
Ontiveros-Cebreros pleaded not guilty to two felony charges before his Wednesday arrest, which included possession of a controlled substance for sale, the Bee reported.
Meanwhile, a group of immigrant advocates in New Mexico has asked that state's Supreme Court to make it more difficult for ICE personnel to make arrests in and around courtrooms, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
The groups say at least 25 such arrests have occurred in the state since February 2017, the report said.