ICE in Napa County

ICE agents were seen near Airport Boulevard in Napa County on Wednesday. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed that one Napa resident was been detained in this week’s Bay Area operations, but local organizers said Wednesday that there have been at least seven detentions since Sunday.

The Napa man, identified by ICE as 39-year-old Armando Nunez-Salgado, was detained outside of his home on Redwood Road at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

Nunez-Salgado is a documented gang member who has been convicted of felony force and assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, and hit and run, according to ICE. An immigration judge ordered that Nunez-Salgado be removed from the U.S. in May 2000 and, since then, he has been removed back to Mexico several times, most recently in 2010, the agency said.

Napa County court records reveal that a “Armando Nunes-Salgado,” age 38, was sentenced to seven years and four months in state prison in 2015 after pleading no contest to felony evading a peace officer, hit and run with injury or death, and failure to appear on felony charges. The sentence was suspended and, instead, Nunes-Salgado was granted five years of probation with a requirement that he complete a long-term residential treatment program, according to court documents.

Although Nunez-Salgado has a criminal record, not all individuals being targeted by ICE do, said James Schwab, ICE spokesman based in San Francisco. While most targeted individuals either have criminal convictions or have received final orders of deportation by a judge, agents do arrest some people who don’t have either, he said.

Schwab couldn’t say exactly how many people in Napa County had been detained or when the operation would end.

Another six people were detained in Napa County on Wednesday, according to Xulio Suriano, an active participant in the North Bay Rapid Response Network. The network, which includes a 24-hour hotline, provides legal observations during ICE encounters in addition to connecting people local resources.

Suriano said that the network started receiving calls reporting ICE sightings as early as 6 a.m. Wednesday. The first one, he said, was in the area near La Tapatia Market on Brown Street in Napa. It’s been confirmed that someone was approached by ICE agents, but, he said, he didn’t know whether or not that person was detained.

One person was detained in the area of York Street and Glenwood Drive and another was detained near the 7-Eleven on Sierra Avenue, Suriano said. As far as the network knows, he said, the arrests have been targeted and there haven’t been any mass raids in Napa County this week.

Suriano did not have any additional information yet on the six individuals who he says were detained.

The North Bay Rapid Response Network is working on making sure those individuals who were detained get  legal services.

“Depending on each case,” he said, “they may not get actually deported.”

The ICE officers were leaving Napa County by 3 p.m. Wednesday, he said. 

More than 150 individuals in violation of federal U.S. immigration laws have been arrested in the Bay Area since Sunday, ICE said in a statement on Tuesday. About half of those people had criminal convictions in addition to their immigration violations, officials said, including convictions for assault/battery, crimes against children, weapons charges and driving under the influence.

“Thanks to the dedicated and professional work of ICE deportation officers, we were able to remove many public safety threats from the streets of the Bay Area during the past few days,” ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan said in Tuesday’s statement. Homan said that another “864 criminal aliens and public safety threats remain at large in the community.”

Homan blamed Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for tipping people off in an announcement she made Saturday, warning of the possibility of a weekend ICE operation in various parts of the Bay Area.

“Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield dangerous criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety,” Homan said. “Because these jurisdictions prevent ICE from arresting criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail, they also force ICE officers to make more arrests out in the community, which poses increased risks for law enforcement and the public.”

“The Oakland mayor’s decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased that risk for my officers and alerted criminal aliens – making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold,” he said.

Although ICE agents were seen near the Napa County Sheriff's Office on Airport Boulevard on Wednesday, Undersheriff Jean Donaldson said that they were not in the Sheriff's Office parking lot and that deputies were not assisting them in any way. 

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Maria Sestito is the former Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She now writes for the Register as a freelancer.