BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Members of the media received a copy Monday morning of a weekly email being sent by Los Alamos Police Department to multiple recipients including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) listing 13 names, dates of birth and social security numbers along with booking dates, release dates and violation descriptions.
The list, entitled, “Los Alamos County Police Department Jail Weekly Booking Report”, is for July 8-15 and is not the report sent each Wednesday to local media which does not include dates of birth or social security numbers. Recipients include three ICE employees, one from the Department of Homeland Security, court officials, assistant district attorneys, Western Sky Community Care, Magellan Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield New Mexico.
On receiving the email, the Los Alamos Reporter contacted LAPD Deputy Chief Jason Wardlow Herrera to ask for the policy on reporting weekly jail bookings to ICE. Wardlow Herrera responded that he did not believe LAPD had a policy on that and does not send weekly jail booking reports to ICE, adding that he was still verifying and would respond later in the day or on Tuesday.
Later in the day, Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess said he had not been aware that LAPD was sending weekly booking reports to ICE. Los Alamos County Vice Chair Pete Sheehey said a list of arrests is sent out to the media each week, that the information is public and the County is following the law. Sheehey admitted he was unaware that the list in question is not the one sent to the media by LAPD Records Division and that the list contains dates of birth and social security numbers. He said the County’s policy since 2014 has been not to honor ICE detainment requests unless there was a court order issued.
County Councilor Antonio Maggiore told the Los Alamos Reporter Monday evening that sending the list to ICE is “completely unacceptable and deliberately cruel”.
“The Los Alamos County Council has certainly never authorized this. Policies like this should be set by the Council,” he said. “If what U an hearing is correct, this is a policy that negatively affects residents of our county who contribute to our community daily.”
Maggiore said he will be requesting a discussion on the matter with LAPD Chief Dino Sgambellone and County Attorney Alvin Leaphart to find out how this transpired.
“I have not seen the email or the recipient list and I am relying on what I am being told. I am appalled and think this is a stain on the County,” he said.
Santa Fe Trial Division Public Defender Jennifer Burrill said Monday evening she was surprised to receive two copies of the email Monday from the Los Alamos Detention Center She said she immediately wondered what the County’s policy was on the issue of notifying ICE of arrests and that she believes sending the list to ICE is hindering justice.
Chief Sgambellone, who was out of the office Monday, said he would look into the matter Tuesday upon his return. The Albuquerque Journal quotes LAPD Cmdr. Preston Ballew as saying the Department sends the weekly booking report to ICE simply because ICE asks for it, that ICE wants the weekly intake report and LAPD sends it to them.