Skip to comments.Illegal Aliens Testify Against United States Citizens
Posted on 08/09/2003 12:13:28 PM PDT by GoRepGo
Illegals held at gunpoint discuss ordeal
By Louie Villalobos Aug 9, 2003
SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Son. The two female illegal immigrants who authorities said were detained at gunpoint by three American citizens a week ago said they initially thought the men were U.S. Border Patrol agents.
But when two of the men pointed guns at them and the three boys traveling with them, Lorena Ocampo said she knew something was wrong.
"(The Border Patrol) doesn't do that to women and children," she said.
More than a week after the incident, Ocampo, 26, her friend Guadalupe Lopez Rodriguez, 31, and the three boys were sent back to Mexico under the agreement that they would return at a later date to testify against Matthew Hoffman, 23, and Alexander Dumas, 26.
The men are each facing six counts of aggravated assault and five counts of unlawful imprisonment and one count of conspiracy to commit unlawful imprisonment, after the Yuma County Sheriff's Office said they handcuffed the group of illegal immigrants and held them at gunpoint until Border Patrol agents arrived.
Authorities said a third man, Martin Hoffman Jr., was with the two suspects but isn't facing charges because he was unarmed and didn't take part in the detention of the illegal immigrants.
Bond for Hoffman and Dumas was recently set at $68,000 and $88,000, respectively. The incident remains under investigation.
Both officials and the women said the incident began just after 1 a.m., a few minutes after the group entered illegally through the Colorado River at County 18th Street.
Rodriguez said they were traveling with a larger group that included the two women's husbands, but the smugglers decided to split everyone up to allow the children to cross at a shallow part of the river. The women said they wanted to go with their children.
"It wasn't that deep," Ocampo said of the river. "The kids crossed easily."
Minutes after crossing, the women said they heard a noise and were told to duck down behind some bushes by the 16-year-old smuggler who was guiding them. After waiting for a while, they decided it was safe to continue, Ocampo said.
"Then these men came out," she said. "I don't know where they came from."
The men started yelling directions in English and motioning the group to get on the ground, Ocampo said. At first, because one was wearing military-style clothes and they all hand handcuffs, the women thought they had been caught by agents and told their boys not to worry.
But when the guns were pointed at them, Ocampo knew the men weren't agents.
"We were all scared," she said. "We didn't know what they were yelling."
After Ocampo said the men handcuffed the women, the smuggler and two of the boys, a helicopter which belonged to the Border Patrol arrived at the scene and the men began to flag it down with a flashlight.
Soon after that, the women said agents arrived, uncuffed the group and put them in the back of their vehicles.
"(The agents) told us what those men did was against the law," Ocampo said.
After being taken to the Border Patrol's station house and being questioned about the incident, the women said they were kept in an area hotel and eventually given the option of staying in the United States until it was time for them to testify against the suspects.
Ocampo said they decided to return to Mexico because they are still scared that something will happen to them. She said the group will most likely not try another illegal entry into the United States because of the incident. Their husbands were caught and deported, Ocampo said.
She said they were headed to New York, where they planned to live with family members, get a job and put their children into public school.
Ocampo did promise to return when it came time to testify, though, saying she wants to make sure Hoffman and Dumas are punished.
"What they did was wrong," she said.
--- Louie Villalobos can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858.
© Copyright, YumaSun.com
The three children who were held at gunpoint by Matthew Hoffman and Alexander Dumas sit in the back of a van waiting to be taken back to Mexico at the U.S. Port of Entry at San Luis, Ariz., Friday. Photo by Alfred J. Hernandez
Well, this is indeed sad and speaks volumes for the injustice of the American judicial system.
Time for the people to take back the country.
The militia movement is right!!!
These patriots deserve medals for restraining alien invaders!!
The Yuma County sheriff's office are a bunch of un-American bums!
Vigilantes must face the music, since we live in a republic not an anarchy.
.....Which is why they feel they can illegally cross the border with impunity.
That's who the government should be going after, not two citizens who are fed up with the inadequacy of the INS. There's going to be more and more of this until something proactive is done to take our nation back from the illegals.
no they just let them thru.
Just what we need in New York - more illegal aliens in the schools.
Supreme court isnt crackin down on this but yet they crack down on christians (in refrence to the 10 commandments statue harming no one, yet was taken down)
The progressive shift -- within government -- from republic to tyranny is subtle; watch for it.
Protect Arizona Now initiative.
The Arizona taxpayer and citizen act. Our local, state, and federal officials steadfastly refuse to enforce our immigration laws, to the point that America is now overrun with ILLEGAL immigrants.
we live in a country where the citzen's rule, not the annointed "authorities." When those in power reject the laws they were elected or hired to enforce then the citzen's have the duty to enforce those laws. They must do so in an orderly way, with oversight and guidance, in order to avoid the excesses of vigalantiism, but they must not submit meekly to the arbitrary rule of some distant elite.
This is the core of the 2nd amendmant, not the argument about guns. "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." The right to keep and bear arms is a necessary part of the militia, which is and always has been the people. We don't need arms for their own sake, we need them to carry out the necessary duty to participate in our own defense. There can never be enough police to do it for us without giving our free society up and becoming a police state. The people must be guided and taught about excess and protecting the rights of the accused, but they must never be excluded from the process.
if the exact same actions were taken by law enforcement officers there would be no case. Because it was citzen's then the police state masters are striking out. They fear the citzen's more than they fear the law breakers.
If the vigilantes really wanted to stop illegal immigration, they should collect fines from the thousands of employers who hire illegal aliens.
I'm currently working in a large construction project, several high-risers, and there are at least 100 illegal aliens [plus 800 of legal workers] on this project every day.
Tell the vigilantes to go to a construction site and try to fine the owners for hiring illegal labors.
It's very easy to pick on dehydrated, skinny, short people trying to make better lives from themselves, while the American citizens who employ them are given a pass.
Oh, I forgot..... it's 'for the children' . Sheesh.
You have no American pride. You sir are a shill for Mexico who throws out silly racial characterizations. America is a sovereign nation and should have as little as possible to do with that hostile mess of a nation.
You do the reporting if you want to waste your time.
The business of America is business, and as long as there is a demand, the supply will follow.
Until our current immigration laws match the reality on the ground, there will be very incentive to enforce unwise laws.
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