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ICE identifies man arrested at Capitol as immigrant in US illegally

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has taken custody of an undocumented immigrant from Venezuela who was arrested last week for allegedly carrying a machete and a knife outside the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Capitol Police arrested the man, identified as 23-year-old Jose Leonardo Marquez, on Dec. 27 after an officer saw him exhibiting “strange behavior” on the east side of the Capitol building.

After speaking to the man for several minutes, the officer noticed he had a brick in his pocket and the man pulled out a knife, according to Capitol Police. The officer also later noticed the handle of a machete under the man’s clothing. Officers were able to take the machete away and make the arrest.

Marquez has been charged with carrying a dangerous weapon and possession of a prohibited weapon, Capitol Police said. At the time of his arrest, police said there was no evidence he was trying to target a member of Congress.

ICE released a statement Tuesday that said deportation officers from Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in the Washington field office took custody of Marquez.

“Marquez unlawfully entered the United States on an unknown date, at an unknown location and without being admitted, inspected, or paroled by an immigration official,” ICE said.

Marquez was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol on Aug. 21, 2022, near El Paso, Texas, but was released on Alternatives to Detention due to the lack of detention capacity, the ICE statement said.

He had been issued a notice to appear before a Department of Justice immigration judge after reporting to ERO on Oct. 5, 2023.

“Enforcement and Removal Operations is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that protects the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of our communities and the integrity of our immigration laws,” ICE’s statement said.

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