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An illegal alien, deported three times from the United States, has been charged for her alleged involvement in kidnapping three-month-old Brandon Cuellar in the sanctuary state of California.
Yesenia Ramirez, a 43-year-old illegal alien from El Salvador, has been arrested and charged along with 28-year-old Jose Roman Portillo for allegedly kidnapping Cuellar in broad daylight last month while his grandmother was unloading groceries.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials confirmed to local media that Ramirez was deported in 2018. She returned twice to the U.S. in 2019 and was deported each time before returning again at an unknown date.
In 2019, after having been convicted of illegal reentry, Ramirez spent just ten days in jail. ICE agents have asked the Santa Clara County Jail to turn Ramirez over to their custody if she is released at any time, but California’s expansive sanctuary state policy protects criminal illegal aliens from arrest and deportation.
Ramirez’s attorney said the suspect’s illegal alien status “has no nexus to and no bearing on her guilt or innocence” in the kidnapping case.
Late last month in San Jose, California, police alleged that Ramirez and Portillo conspired to kidnap Cuellar while his grandmother watched him. The kidnapping came, police allege after Ramirez befriended the grandmother at church and instantly became “obsessed” with the newborn.
Surveillance footage purports to show Portillo kidnapping Cuellar in broad daylight:
Cuellar was reported missing and found safe about 20 hours later. The newborn had been taken to a church that is linked to the homicide of a three-year-old toddler. In that case, the three-year-old granddaughter of the church’s pastor was killed after she was taken to the church in September 2021 by her mother and uncle because they believed she was possessed by a demon.
Police allege that the toddler was held down for seven hours by adults as they forced her to vomit, believing that they were ridding her of a demon. Her mother, Claudia Hernandez, waited two hours after the toddler had died before she called 911.
When police arrived on the scene, officers said the toddler was covered in injuries and had not been given anything for 20 hours except a small amount of water.
Hernandez has been arrested and charged with homicide in the case. Ramirez and Portillo have been charged with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, child abduction, and home invasion.