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Posted at 4:20 PM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Fairfax fugitive nabbed in Houston

By Tom Jackman
Tom Jackman

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.

By Tom Jackman  | February 7, 2011; 4:20 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax, Loudoun, Tom Jackman  
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Next: Police: Erase all signs of GPS in car


Tom Jackman writes as if Secure Communities is a flawed process. ICE certainly must better communicate limits such as this, but prior to Secure Communities, too many local police agencies never reported illegal residents to ICE. So, the bottom line is Secure Communities is much faster, more efficient method for law enforcement communication.

Visit the NumbersUSA and the ALIPAC websites and help fight illegal immigration.

Posted by: magyart1 | February 7, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

MS-13 forbids sexual assault.

At least, that is what you would have to believe to find Guandique guilty of killing Chandra Levy. According to prosecutors, Guandique admitted to his cellmate that he only killed Chandra because Guandique was worried that MS-13 would attack him for having broken their code of conduct that prohibits sexual assault.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 7, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Get a rope.

Posted by: NyallsStJohnSmytheIV | February 7, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Execute him.

Posted by: Defund_NPR | February 7, 2011 11:32 PM | Report abuse

how in the world a mother would let a MS-13 guy stay their in her home. her boyfriend knew he is a MS-13. another thing is that at 10:30 in the morning she could not hear something wrong or not to check on her, to see if she was alright. to rape and sodomize her and not to hear is very strange but i could be reading to much into it. i know everybody different but still to trust a stranger when you have a child in the house is very strange.

Posted by: marycom | February 8, 2011 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Glad he's behind bars, but *how* was he apprehended in Houston? Was it due to his stupidity or just plain old police work?

Posted by: SamFelis | February 9, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

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