3 escaped ICE detainees found separately in Denver, Colorado Springs

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AURORA | Three detainees who escaped the Aurora immigration detention center on Sunday have been found in three separate locations, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency officials. 

Amilcar Aguilar-Hernandez, 23, from El Salvador; and Douglas Amaya-Arriaga, 18, and Carlos Perez-Rodriguez, 18, were found June 20. Amaya-Arriaga and Perez-Rodriguez are both from Honduras. 

Aguilar-Hernandez was located and apprehended in Colorado Springs, according to ICE. He has a criminal conviction for felony trespassing and is a suspect in a rape case at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. He has no apparent connections to the military.

The other two detainees had no previous criminal history, but ICE declined to release details about whether they were at the detention facility awaiting an asylum hearing, but did confirm they were “border cases.”

A news release from ICE said Aguilar-Hernandez “slept at a job site and gave his possessions to his escapee accomplices” in an attempt to evade being found.

ICE officials said Amaya-Arriaga was discovered in a suburban Denver house where another immigrant illegally in the U.S. “agreed to harbor him.” Perez-Rodriguez was reportedly leaving a Denver apartment complex when he was arrested.

ICE officials said in a release the three apparently fled to Colorado Springs after their escape where they spent three nights at a “safe house.” They had reportedly planned to stay there until they made enough money to leave Colorado, but were recognized and split up.

The three will now be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

It’s still not clear how the three were able to successfully escape the facility, operated by the GEO Group Inc., located in north Aurora. The three detainees reportedly scaled a 15-foot chain link fence, according to ICE. They then were “able to overcome a wall in the recreation area to effect their escape.” 

ICE has not returned requests for more details on what enabled the escape. The agency says details of the escape are still part of an on-going investigation.

Aurora and Denver police departments were contacted about the escapes, according to each of the agencies.

While the Aurora Police Department “assisted in looking for the people,” an Aurora police spokesman said officers assisted in searching the immediate area of the detention center after being contacted by ICE on the day of the escapes, but didn’t assist further.

A blog post from Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz after the news of the captures highlighted that the agency has no intention of changing its policies on immigration enforcement.

“Aurora Police Officers DO NOT have the authority to detain a person based on their immigration status. They also DO NOT have the authority to investigate or enforce federal immigration laws. They do not and will not ask a person about their immigration status,” the post said. “It is not our practice to report to other agencies who we speak with or what their immigration status is for being in this country or in our city.”