Gang Member Granted Amnesty Under Obama Program Faces 3 Charlotte Murder Charges

From, April 22, 2015

A gang member granted amnesty under President Obama’s amnesty program now faces four murder charges in Charlotte, NC. The incident sparked a new review process of all people applying for deference in the U.S.


 Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez applied for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on January, 13, 2013. Within seven months, he received notification that granted him a work permit, along with a two-year legal status. Per U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Leon Rodriguez, who is now raising concerns about the case, Rangel-Hernandez was in the federal crime database, listed as a known gang member.

“Based on the standard procedures and protocols in place at the time, the DACA request and related employment authorization should not have been approved.”

Rangel-Hernandez now faces murder charges for four different people killed in Charlotte. One of the victims, America’s Next Top Model contestant Mirjana Puhar, 19, was killed on February 24 in Charlotte, while visiting her boyfriend, Jonathan Alvarado, and his roommate, Jusmar Gonzaga-Garcia. Alvarado and Gonzaga-Garcia were also killed during the incident, which took place at their home off of Norris Ave.

Along with Rangel-Hernandez, 19-year-old David Ezequel Lopez was also said to be involved in the murders. Both men were arrested and charged with three counts of felony first-degree murder.

Rangel-Hernandez also reportedly killed one man and wounded another in Marshall, North Carolina. Authorities believe that a drug altercation set off the incident.

USCIS indicates that at least 20 other people with known ties to gangs were approved under DACA, although Homeland Security states that anyone with any connections with gangs are a cause for rejection from the program.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley recently issued a written statement on the incident. He pointed out that Rangel-Hernandez’s past may have been approved regardless of his known gang activities.

“It’s no secret that USCIS staff is under intense pressure from the President to approve every DACA application that comes across their desk, and based on this information, it’s clear that adequate protocols are not in place to protect public safety. The fact is that this tragedy could have been avoided if the agency had a zero-tolerance policy with regard to criminal aliens and gang members.”

Senator Tom Tillis, of North Carolina, also spoke on the issue, stating that a loophole in the program is allowing criminals to stay in the U.S. Rangel-Hernandez was initially set to be deported in 2012, but was protected by DACA.

“The flawed implementation of the president’s blanket deferred action program has created a loophole that allows dangerous criminals who came here illegally – even known gang members – to stay in the country. The USCIS needs to immediately start performing detailed criminal background checks to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.”

Although his amnesty is now revoked, Rangel-Hernandez is still in the U.S. to face his murder charges. He remains in jail with no bond.

[Photo Courtesy of Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department]

Published in: on April 22, 2015 at 9:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Charges “Habitual Felon” in 1988 Murder of Cab Driver

From, April 16, 2015

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have made an arrest in a 1988 cold case murder.

Police charged 49-year-old Jackie Sanders in the murder of Dwight Thomas Corum back on January 14, 1988.

According to authorities, police responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call in the 600 block of Waco Street. When officers arrived on scene, they found Corum dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

Homicide Detectives, along with Crime Scene Technicians, responded to the location and collected DNA evidence from the scene, but were unable to identify a suspect at that time.

In October of 2013 this case was reviewed by the CMPD Cold Case Unit by utilizing funds from the 2011 Cold Case Grant. The evidence from the case was submitted to the CMPD Crime Lab for DNA examination.

Based on the evidence found, Sanders was identified as the suspect in this case. He was been interviewed by detectives. As a result of this investigation, detectives with the Cold Case Unit then signed warrants on Sanders.

Sanders was served with warrants for First Degree Murder and Armed Robbery. Sanders is currently incarcerated in the Tabor Correctional Institute in Tabor City where he is serving time for Habitual Felon.

The CMPD Cold Case Unit has reviewed 143 cases since it began in 2003. Of those cases, 42 have been cleared and 27 of those were cleared by arrest.

Published in: on April 16, 2015 at 10:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man Who Removed Immigration Service Ankle Monitor Wanted in Deadly Charlotte Hit & Run

From, April 16, 2015

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have identified the suspect in a deadly hit-and-run in SouthEnd on Wednesday.

Police have identified Elmer Galeas-Padilla as the suspect involved in the deadly hit-and-run.


Right at noon Wednesday, CMPD says Jefferson Davis James was driving his moped southbound on South Boulevard in the right-hand lane, and struck a black 2005 Nissan Murano as he approached the intersection of New Bern Station Court.

Police say the driver of the Murano was turning left onto New Bern Station Court from northbound South Boulevard, causing the moped to crash into the rear passenger door area of the Murano.

Galeas-Padilla failed to stop at the scene, and police say the driver fled south on South Boulevard.

James was taken to CMC-Main, where he was pronounced deceased.

Arrest warrants for two counts of felony hit and run and one count of driving while license revoked has been issued for Galeas-Padilla’s arrest.

Galeas-Padilla was on electronic monitoring through the U.S. Immigration Office. He cut off his ankle bracket last night and was last seen near I-485 and Arrowwood Road.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance with locating Galeas-Padilla.

Anyone who witnessed this crash or has information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or Detective Reibold at 704-336-3229.

Published in: on April 16, 2015 at 9:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man Found Guilty of 2012 ‘Brutal Sex Assault’

From, April 1, 2015

Fitzgerald Rice, accused of sexually assaulting a woman in his apartment in 2012, will spend at least 70 years in prison.


Fitzgerald Rice

A jury found Rice guilty on Wednesday of what the Mecklenburg District Attorney’s Office calls a brutal sex assault.

In that incident, a court determined Rice did force the victim to perform numerous sexual acts while also striking her in the head and choking her if she didn’t comply.

Police say Rice allegedly assaulted three other women in the same apartment over 20 years. They testified in his trial, where the prosecutor also showed old and new blood stains on a mattress to jurors.

“The fact that he has not removed those items show you he doesn’t think it’s disgusting, he thinks this is okay, he thinks this behavior with a woman bleeding on your bed is fine,” Leslie Stephens said to the court room this week.

Rice was found guilty of seven of nine counts against him; four out of five for second-degree sexual offense, two for attempted second-degree sexual offense and one for strangulation. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous answer in regards to a kidnapping charge.

The sentences will run consecutively, totaling the minimum of 70 years.

Published in: on April 2, 2015 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Teen Suspects Charged in South Charlotte Robbery

From, April 2, 2015

Three robbery suspects missing since this weekend were taken into police custody Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

Victims reported being threatened with a knife and gun in the 200 block of College Street. The suspects fled on foot.

Officers identified them as Daveon Dixon and Jontavius Littlejohn, both 16, and 18-year-old Damrcus Dixon. Warrants were issued for their arrests.


Daveon Dixon, Damrcus Dixon, Littlejohn

They’re all charged with robbery. Damarcus Dixon and Jontavius Littlejohn were alos served with outstanding warrants.

Published in: on April 2, 2015 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Seeking Public’s Help in Identifying Suspect in March 28, 2015 Robbery

From, April 2, 2015

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are hoping you can help identify a suspect in a Saturday, March 28, 2015 robbery.


Around 3:15 Saturday morning, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say a man entered the QuikTrip gas station in the 7100 block of South Boulevard, implied he had a weapon and demanded money from the store clerk. The suspect fled the scene on foot after procuring money from the store.

The suspect is described as a black male in his 50s, approximately 6-foot-3 and weighing in around 170 pounds; he was last seen wearing a black hoodie, black toboggan, blue jeans and white shoes.

If you have any information on this case, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600.

Published in: on April 2, 2015 at 10:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Female Store Clerk Struck in Violent April 2, 2015 Idlewild Road Circle K Robbery

From, April 2, 2015

A violent man hits a woman to steal what he wants. It happened early in the morning inside a Circle K on Idlewild Road.

“We’re talking six o’clock in the morning,” said CMPD Officer Tori Roddey. “Normally when people go into the gas station they’re getting a coffee, newspaper, getting ready for the day.”

On surveillance video, we see a female clerk minding the store. But she’s got her back turned to the door and doesn’t see a man in a striped hat rushing up behind her.

He tells her he wants money – and wants it now.

She opens the cash drawer, but there’s not much there. She then points to some rolled coins on the floor. That apparently makes him angry. He grabs her and cuffs her across the face.

“After he punches her, he grabs her keys and cell phone, which were sitting close by,” Roddey said.

Unfortunately, at that moment, a customer wanders in during the robbery. He’s told to hand over his wallet and sit down.

“He gave the guy his wallet,” Roddey said, “And then he tells him to go around and get those cigarettes he pointed to.”

He not only gets them, this unlucky customer, who didn’t want to show his face, has to climb up the shelves to find a carton on Newports.

And this strong armed robber isn’t finished. Remember, he’s got the clerk’s car keys.

“When he leaves, he goes directly to her car and he rummages through her car. I don’t know why he didn’t take it, but he didn’t” Roddey said, “But he went through her car and then left.”

However, he did get her cell phone and the customer’s wallet, not to mention the cash from the register.

If you were near the Circle K on Idlewild Road about 6:30 a.m. on April 1, call Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600 and let them know what you know. You might be in line for a fat reward.

Published in: on April 2, 2015 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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