A Texas inmate was unintentionally released Tuesday – despite being held on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.
Ricardo Mujica “inadvertently walked out with another group of released persons” despite the detainer, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a statement to Fox News.
Mujica had been charged with assault for choking or strangling a family member, Deputy Johnny Garcia, a spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, told Fox News. He had been sentenced to four years probation for the state charge but still had an ICE detainer when he was released, authorities said. His immigration status was not immediately clear.
He was supposed to be transferred to ICE Tuesday morning when he was accidentally released, Garcia explained. And despite the unintentional release, local officials cannot track Mujica down and take him back into custody.
“[Mujica] had satisfied conditions of his state charge, and only the detainer remained. As such, local officers have no authority to arrest or detain this person at this point. He is not considered an escapee,” officials said.
An ICE official was not immediately available to elaborate on Mujica's specific case Tuesday — likely because of the partial government shutdown — but a police spokesman said ICE has "started its process" in regards to Mujica. An ICE representative did, however, remind Fox News in an emailed statement that it has 129 active fugitive operations teams across the U.S., including San Antonio, that are tasked with "identifying and arresting" illegal immigrants who appear to be a danger to others.
The government shuttered just before Christmas with President Trump and Democrats at an impasse over funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Bexar County encompasses San Antonio and the surrounding areas.