An illegal alien with a history of “criminal mischief” has been charged with murder, arson and mutilation of a corpse in San Antonio – even as city officials contest Texas’s anti-sanctuary law.
Ernesto Esquivel-Garcia, 20, is being held on a $195,000 bond and a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.
The grisly case is garnering additional interest as family members of the victim, 20-year-old Jared Vargas, accuse San Antonio Police of slow-walking their missing-person report and asking them to stay quiet about the incident.
The family said the evidence pointed to Esquivel-Garcia , noting that Jared’s car was parked at the apartment complex where Esquivel-Garcia lived.
“[Police Chief William] McManus and his legal team have told the family not to go public about the case,” a family friend said.
McManus is under investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s Office for possible violation of the state’s anti-sanctuary law in the release of 12 illegal aliens last December. San Antonio is among the cities waging a prolonged court battle to overturn Senate Bill 4.
Police say they acted properly in the Vargas murder case, and deny asking the family to stay mum.
Court records show Esquivel-Garcia was charged in March 2017 with obstructing a highway, intoxication and criminal mischief. But he was soon back on the streets. ICE did not say why no detainer was placed on Esquivel-Garcia at that time.
ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda could not confirm any details about Esquivel-Garcia. The agency did not explain how the illegal alien obtained employment at a trendy area restaurant, where the victim also worked.
Esquivel-Garcia was apprehended when he was stopped for a traffic violation – two days after Vargas’s charred body was found in an apartment previously occupied by Esquivel-Garcia.
Mike Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, believes officers handled the case properly. But he told FAIR:
“San Antonio is a place illegals flock to because the chief and mayor will not enforce [laws]or assist Homeland Security. For them to say they will do so going forward is too little, too late. The damage is done.”