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County Executive John R. Leopold Announces Investigation Leads to the Detention of Illegal Immigrants

Annapolis (November 15, 2007) - County Executive John R. Leopold is pleased to announce that a successful investigation by the Anne Arundel County Police Department resulted in the nine persons being taken into custody by ICE officials for immigration violations.

On Sunday, November 11, 2007, at approximately 12:30 a.m., members of the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Special Enforcement Section and Special Operations Section, supported by Maryland State Police and enforcement agents of the Board of License Commissioners for Anne Arundel County (Liquor Board), conducted a bar check on Viva La Raza, Mexican Restaurant & Bar, located at 7523 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie.

“As part of this Administration’s priority interest in helping federal immigration officials to crack down on crime by illegal immigrants, this joint effort by County Police and ICE in this instance is a significant accomplishment,” Mr. Leopold said.

The operation was scheduled in response to reports of prostitution, fights, drug activity, and underage drinking received by both the Anne Arundel County Police and the Liquor Board over a three-month period. Undercover officers substantiated the reports of drug dealing and alcohol violations. Officers also confirmed that females were being transported to the bar on Friday and Saturday nights for male entertainment and possibly prostitution activity. While no criminal charges for prostitution have been filed, the investigation is ongoing.

Pre-inspection surveillance of the bar by detectives uncovered a drug sale occurring inside the bar and approximately 30 persons being served alcoholic drinks, a violation of their 11 p.m. license restriction.  Upon entering the bar and conducting an inspection, officers observed that employees were still serving alcohol after hours; the licensee or bar management was not on the premises as required; three underage drinkers were on the premises (two 18 year olds and one 17 year old); and there appeared to have been improper modification of the premises. The police department will forward all reports regarding these suspected violations, and possibly others, to the Liquor Board once the investigation is complete.

Of the nine detainees, Carlos Cortez Hernandez, a 20 year old male residing at 133 Warwickshire Lane, Apt. D, Glen Burnie, MD 21061, was arrested and charged by Anne Arundel County detectives with drug possession. Previous detainers had been filed on Hernandez by ICE.


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