Fairfax fugitive nabbed in Houston
A man wanted for rape in Fairfax County, who had been released from custody in Loudoun County a month before the assault because of an apparent gap in immigration databases, was captured Sunday in Houston, Fairfax police said Monday.
Salvador Portillo-Saravia is being held in the Houston jail pending extradition to Fairfax. His case highlighted flaws in the much-touted Secure Communities program that is supposed to keep dangerous illegal immigrants off the street.
Authorities said Portillo-Saravia, 29, was a member of the street gang MS-13 who had been picked up by gang officers in Prince William County in 2003 and deported.
Portillo-Saravia sneaked back into the country and was arrested again in Loudoun County in November. Loudoun sheriff's deputies submitted his fingerprints through the Secure Communities program. The ICE database should have flagged him as someone who had been deported and he should have remained jailed.
But Portillo-Saravia's prints came back with a "no match." Charged only with the misdemeanor of being drunk in public, Portillo-Saravia was released after 12 hours in the Loudoun jail.
About a month later, on the day after Christmas, he allegedly raped an eight-year-old girl in her home in Centreville. A massive manhunt began.
When it was revealed that Portillo-Saravia had been in the Loudoun jail a month earlier, ICE disclosed last week that the fingerprints of many deportees obtained before 2005 were not taken electronically and not in the database. Participants in the Secure Communities program, which includes every jail in Virginia, said they were unaware that the database was not comprehensive.
ICE officials said they were reviewing their files to see how manually inked fingerprints can be scanned into the IDENT database used by the Secure Communities program. Rep. Frank Wolf sent a letter to ICE asking for a report on how the problem can be fixed.
Fairfax Officer Don Gotthardt said agents with ICE in Washington and Houston, federal marshals and Fairfax detectives were all involved in tracking and capturing Portillo-Saravia. Portillo-Saravia is charged with forcible rape and forcible sodomy in the Dec. 26 attack on the girl.
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