LAKE WALES (FOX 13) - Polk County’s sheriff, Grady Judd is not known for mincing words, and he certainly didn’t when he apologized for slamming ICE.
“I gave you wrong information,” Polk Co. Sheriff Grady Judd told a group of reporters Thursday. “Make no mistake about it, when we mess up, we fess up, and we fix up.”
The day before, Judd said ICE wasn’t doing its job because it did not deport Marcelino Jimenez-Cruz, an illegal immigrant with a history of violent crimes.
Judd said his agency reported Jimenez-Cruz to ICE last year after a Polk County deputy's hand was broken while he tried to arrest Jimenez-Cruz.
Earlier this week, Jimenez-Cruz was arrested again, this time for allegedly beating up a young Lake Wales police officer during a traffic stop.
Judd says it turns out that a Polk deputy made a mistake on the arrest paperwork for the incident last year.
Jimenez-Cruz was not reported to ICE after his 2017 arrest.
“I have apologized profusely to ICE and I called the chief of the Lake Wales Police Department and apologized to him because, had we reported him like we should have a year ago, he very well might not have been out to beat their police officer yesterday,” said Judd.
Jimenez-Cruz has been arrested at least 10 times in Polk County. Even though Jimenez-Cruz was not reported to ICE in 2017 because of a mistake at his agency, the sheriff says his office has reported Jimenez-Cruz to ICE four other times.
When asked if the deputy who made the paperwork mistake will face consequences, Judd said he left the agency a while ago on good terms.