Selected DACA Recipients With Serious Criminal Charges

Related: DACA Grantees Arrested in Phoenix Riots

  1. Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez killed four people in Charlotte, N.C., and was charged with four counts of first-degree murder in February 2015 in connection with a three-day shooting spree. Hernandez was approved for DACA in 2013 despite evidence of gang membership that the USCIS officer failed to check. According to USCIS, Rangel had been arrested by ICE in 2012 after an arrest on drug charges.1
  2. Syed Owais Zafar, a citizen of Pakistan, was indicted in 2018 on three counts of attempted malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer. Zafar was initially arrested on June 26, 2017 in Smyth County, Va.. Zafar entered the United States on October 12, 2003, as an immediate family member of a foreign government official (A-2). USCIS granted Zafar DACA status from January 9, 2014 – January 8, 2016 and later extended it to November 11, 2017. The Joint Terrorism Task Force confirmed that while detained, Zafar made terroristic threats such as: "Death to America" and "I'm going to get some brothers down here to blow this place up."2
  3. Edgar Covarrubias-Padilla is an alleged DACA recipient and California resident who was arrested and charged with four felonies — including possession and distribution of over 600 child pornography images and lewd and lascivious act with a child under 14.3
  4. Guillermo Soriano Arrieta was indicted for 2016 charges of possession of a firearm and ammunition while unlawfully present in the United States. During a consent search of his vehicle, Arrieta produced a pistol and over 7,200 rounds of ammunition. While Arrieta was in custody, authorities determined Arrieta was a citizen of Mexico and a DACA recipient.4
  5. Rajubhai Patel, a citizen of India, pled guilty to one count of money laundering and was indicted in the Southern District of Texas on October 19, 2016, on multiple counts of money laundering, wire fraud, and conspiracy. Patel resided in the United States based on his grant of DACA status, which has since been revoked. These charges relate to Patel's role in a massive call center scam operated by a Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO). The TCO controlled call centers in India would extort individuals in the United States by impersonating U.S. government officials (typically Department of Homeland Security of Internal Revenue Service officers, and demand victims purchase debit/gift cards and/or wire funds. Patel was responsible for liquidating tens of millions of dollars in victim funds using Green Dot debit cards and counterfeit identity documents.5
  6. Carlos Pascual-Pablo, a Guatemalan citizen, entered the United States on May 1, 2005, without being admitted or paroled. Pascual was granted DACA status on July 11, 2013, despite an immigration judge previously ordering him removed to Guatemala on May 29, 2012. Furthermore, on December 6, 2013, the Board of Immigration Appeals granted Pascual 60 days to voluntary depart the United States. On April 3, 2017, the Maricopa County Justice Courts (Ariz.) convicted Pascual for Attempt to Commit Molestation of Child. ERO Phoenix removed Pascual to Guatemala on July 5, 2017.6
  7. Isaac Marquez-Pineda, a Mexican citizen, was convicted in the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County, on July 17, 2017 for Attempt to Commit Sexual Conduct with a Minor and Sexual Abuse. ICE ERO arrested Pineda the same day and will remain in ICE custody pending immigration proceedings. Pineda entered the United States on an unknown date and unknown location without being admitted or paroled and was granted DACA status by USCIS on November 12, 3014, until November 11, 2016.7
  8. Erwin Garduno-Rodriguez, a Mexican citizen, claims to have entered the United States on September 18, 2005, with a Border Crossing Card at San Ysirdo, Calif. USCIS approved Garduno's application on January 18, 2013. Garduno was convicted by the Iowa District Court for Crawford County for Sexual Abuse, 2nd degree, for which he was given a 25-year suspended prison sentence. At the time of the offense, the victim was seven years old.8
  9. Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros was convicted in 2014 of two counts of felony hit and run for failing to identify herself as the driver in a deadly crash that killed two juveniles. Garcia had temporary permission to be in the United States through DACA.9
  10. Franklin Meave Vazquez, a Mexican national, was an illegal alien in the United States until he was granted deferred action under DACA on November 30, 2013. Vazquez was indicted on one count of murder in the second degree, one count of attempted murder, and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. Vazquez allegedly attacked three crew members while wielding a knife and hammer. In March 2013, Vazquez was also arrested in Virginia for allegedly trying to strangle his 20-year-old wife and abducting her.10
  11. Francisco Rios-Covarrubias was sentenced in 2018 by the Maricopa County Superior Court to 35 years in prison. Covarrubias was granted a work permit under DACA to legally reside in the United States from January 25, 2013 – January 24 2015. Covarrubias pleaded guilty to January 2016 charges of two counts of kidnapping and three counts of child abuse of a three-year-old girl. The victim was found with her legs and arms bound and duct tape over her mouth. Also, the victim was covered in feces and inside a trash bag with only her head exposed. The male witness who first contacted the police had gone to Covarrubias' apartment, where he was greeted by Covarrubias in a blonde wig and pink dress, and rejected an offer to have sex with the toddler.11
  12. Carlos Ruben Rodriguez, already a convicted felon, was found guilty of second-degree murder on January 30, 2019, for a 2017 shooting in East Naples, Fla., which left one dead and another injured. Rodriguez received a lifetime sentence with no eligibility for parole.12
  13. Juan Valdez-Molina was tried and convicted in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas of conspiracy to transport, and transporting, illegal aliens. Molina appealed the decision, which was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Molina is an illegal alien who received DACA status.13

1 Vaughan testimony, "Oversight of the Administration's Decision to End Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and American Oversight, p. 367

2 "Smyth County grand jury hands down indictments" and American Oversight, p. 365

3 Vaughan testimony


5 American Oversight, p. 366-7

6 American Oversight, p. 368

7 American Oversight, p. 369

8 American Oversight, p. 370

9 "Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros, sentenced in Forest Grove fatal crash, exchanges words of remorse, forgiveness"

10 "Man arrested in Virginia, accused of multiple murders, is DACA recipient, source says" and "Man indicted in connection with murder aboard fishing vessel off Nantucket"

11 "Mesa man sentenced for abuse of 3-year-old", "Mesa cross-dresser gets 35 years for brutalizing girl, 3" and "Mesa child-abuse suspect living in U.S. under DACA program"

12 "Man convicted of fatally shooting woman outside East Naples bar sentenced to life in prison" and "Father of Murdered Florida Mother Reveals Suspected Killer Was DACA Recipient"

13 "Valley woman indicted in ‘drag queen’ smuggling case" and "USA v. Juan Valdez-Molina, No. 15-41737 (5th Cir. 2017)"