SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A man in the U.S. illegally... yet released from a New Jersey jail after a felony assault case there-- he is now charged with three Springfield killings.
Greene County Jail
An Ozarks sheriff is speaking out-- saying three people would still be alive if Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- or ICE had been called by New Jersey authorities to let ICE know that the Middlesex County jail was about to release Luis Rodrigo Perez.
Perez is one of two men charged with murder in Springfield... Perez accused of triple murder.
"It makes no sense why we would be shielding someone who is here illegally from those laws," said Christian County Sheriff Brad Cole. He is clear where he stands-- he says those who break our laws to get into this country should be held accountable, just like any U.S. citizen who breaks the law is held accountable.
"The illegal immigrant was released from Middlesex County there and came right here to the Midwest, right here to Southwest Missouri and killed three people... and we have three innocent people that are no longer here because of "sanctuary cities" and "sanctuary counties" that refuse to cooperate with the immigration laws of the U.S.," Cole said.
Cole has 11 detainees in his jail right now that he's holding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"It affects everyone and it continues to grow and to be a bigger problem."
Cole says had New Jersey authorities called ICE on Perez-- like federal law states-- after Perez's felony domestic assault in New Jersey-- three people in Springfield would still be alive, and this dad would have another day with his son, Josh Hampton.
"That's what saddens me the most is because he was turning his life around... he started to Victory Mission.. a really great place in Springfield.. and I appreciate them a whole lot," said Russ Hampton, one of the victim's fathers. "A part of me wants to believe that he did get his life turned around. I raised him a certain way, and he understood who God was."
Perez is jailed in Greene County without bond. There is also another man charged with two of the murders-- Aaron D. Anderson.