President Donald Trump may not be on the ballot this year, but he is having a big affect on Arizona’s elections this year.
William Flannigan and Carly Henry, Arizona Republic
The man featured in a controversial ad posted online Wednesday by President Donald Trump has a criminal record in Arizona that predated his conviction for killing two sheriff’s deputies in California.
The man, Luis Bracamontes, shot and killed two sheriff’s deputies near Sacramento in October 2014. He is an undocumented immigrantfrom Mexico and is now on death row in California.
On Wednesday, Trump posted a video on Twitter showing Bracamontes in court swearing and bragging about killing police officers. The video, which many people have denounced as racist, intersperses the Bracamontes footage with migrants at the southern U.S. border, seemingly comparing the people to Bracamontes.
“Democrats let him into our country,” the video says. “Democrats let him stay.”
The Arizona Republic has reported on Bracamontes’ criminal history in, and ties to, Arizona.
In 2014, then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio revealed that the suspect in shootings that left two California sheriff’s deputies dead had Arizona ties and had been deported twice.
At the time, the man was identified by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency as Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte.
He was arrested in Maricopa County in 1996 and was previously deported, Arpaio said in 2014. He might have used other aliases, Arpaio added.
ICE said Monroy-Bracamonte was deported to Mexico in 1997 and was deported a second time in 2001.
Court records show Phoenix police arrested Bracamontes on September 1996 after an investigation in which undercover officers purchased small amounts of crack cocaine they said was sold by Bracamontes and two other men. At the time of the arrest, Bracamontes had marijuana in his pocket, and an unloaded .22-caliber rifle was seized from a closet.
He pleaded guilty in December 1996 to the solicitation of sale of narcotic drugs, was sentenced in January 1997 to three years’ probation and deported in June 1997, according to court documents.
At a 2014 news conference, Arpaio said he had repeatedly written letters to the Department of Homeland Security and ICE officials asking for an investigation into how and why criminals who have been ordered to be deported keep returning to his custody.
“The situation is not only intolerable, but it is also getting worse,” he said.
Reached Thursday, he said that as far as he is concerned, he “did his job” in holding Bracamontes in his jail and turning him over to immigration officials. He said if Bracamontes at one point was released from his custody and not deported, it was because of “the broken immigration system.”
“I don’t think this guy went to the border 20 times. My gut feeling is he was put out on the streets,” he said. “That’s not my fault, I did my job.”
In 2014, Bracamontes and his wife were living in Utah before their fateful trip to California. At the time of the shootings, Bracamontes was high on meth, according to reports in the Sacramento Bee.
Bracamontes is on California death row after being convicted of murdering sheriff’s deputies Danny Oliver, 47, of Sacramento County, and Michael David Davis Jr., 42, of Placer County, and shooting a civilian in an attempted carjacking.
His wife, Janelle Marquez Monroy, was sentenced in March to what amounts to a life sentence.
Monroy, now 41, was found guilty Feb. 15 of murder and nine other counts for her role in the crime spree, including the shooting death of Davis by her husband. A judge sentenced her to 24 years and 10 months on various counts to be served before a 25-years-to-life sentence in the murder of Davis, the Bee reported.
Janelle Monroy attended school in the Phoenix area.
Includes information from reporter Perry Vandell.
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