Immigration officials blamed for releasing rape suspect

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by By DAVID SCHECHTER / WFAA-TV

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

wfaa.com

Posted on August 14, 2009 at 9:45 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 19 at 5:36 PM

MISSING RAPE SUSPECT

David Schechter reports

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DALLAS - Dallas County officials blame the feds for returning a rape suspect to Mexico prior to his trial.

The charges against Jose Adan Rico were posted on the internet for everyone to see but a simple background check failed to uncover the information.

Jose Rico's alleged rapes of two girls, age 12 and 14, would make any parent cringe.

In one case, he broke into a home. In another, he posed as an exterminator.

As Rico sat in the Dallas County Jail for five months, those charges were posted on the county's public website.

"If the person was still in jail, all they had to do was pull up his information and it would've told him what he was in jail for, what his bail amount was and if had any detainers, or any holds," said Raul Reyna, a Dallas County detective.

And yet, U.S. Immigration and Customs couldn't find the information.

In a statement, a spokesman wrote, "There was absolutely no indication of any charges relating to a sex crime."

And so Immigration put Rico on a bus and released him into Mexico, where he's now a free man.

Reyna says on the day he was released to Mexico, his history was available for law enforcement agencies to view.

But even without the rape charges, Rico still faced a less serious burglary charge. Why wouldn't Immigration keep him in this country until after his trial?

That's what District Attorney Craig Watkins wants to know.

"It's our understanding and our estimation that INS, maybe, didn't follow through with their due diligence to insure that this person stayed in custody," he said.

There was a bond hearing last week that could've kept Rico in the country.

Watkins says Rico's defense attorney failed to share critical information with the judge about all the charges Rico was facing.

He says, had the judge known, this probably would not have happened.

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