Sarasota sheriff wants 'violent' illegal alien deported

- Deputies arrested a man they say is a repeat offender - and an illegal alien - in Sarasota County Thursday.

Now, Sheriff Tom Knight says he wants this man out of his county and out of the country.

Deputies say they know Carlos Escheverria-Pena all too well. In January, he was arrested after allegedly starting a road rage fight in North Port.

"He punches out the window of a car. The gentleman defends himself, the victim, by shooting him to get him off of him. The tax payers pay to put him in the hospital. Pay to get him fixed up," Sheriff Tom Knight recalled of the incident.

Then investigators learned his permanent resident card and Social Security cards were fake. They also uncovered two arrests in Maryland - one for assault and another a misdemeanor. He was never convicted for either charge.

Sheriff Tom Knight said Escheverria-Pena is a violent criminal who is in Sarasota illegally, and needs to be deported. But for many years, the rules for getting him kicked out of the  country were not so clear.

That has changed under the tougher Trump executive order that came in February.

"Crimes are escalating, from minor crimes in Maryland to more violent crimes in Florida. We got him again is it going to take us to work a homicide or a rape with him to get him out of Sarasota County. It's time for him to go back to Guatemala," said Sheriff Knight.

He said the process is frustrating. He's seen a decline in the number of deportations of illegal aliens who commit crimes from Sarasota County; dropping from 107 deportations in 2009 to four in 2016.

"There needs to be some type of reform. There needs to be some type of consistency. We don't know what direction we are going. I think local law enforcement is very confused about what it's role is going to be and we need some definition from the federal government," said Sheriff Knight. 

Escheverria-Pena remains in the Sarasota County Jail. A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official tells FOX 13 Escheverria-Pena is on their radar. If he bonds out and they are notified, he'll be detained, and maybe this time, deported.

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