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Thread: Man facing deportation after Meriden court appearance used two identities, records sh

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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Man facing deportation after Meriden court appearance used two identities, records sh

    Man facing deportation after Meriden court appearance used two identities, records show

    A booking photo of Velazquez-Perez taken during his arrest on Jan. 4, 2017. Courtesy of Wallingford Police Department.

    December 20, 2018 07:11PM
    By Mary Ellen Godin, Record-Journal staff

    MERIDEN — The man at the center of the protest in the rear yard of Meriden Superior Court last Thursday was living under two identities, according to court and police records.

    The man appeared in court on Dec.13 under the name Elias Roblero-Berduo, 40, to answer to impaired driving charges stemming from arrests in January 2017 and December 2016, as well as a criminal impersonation charge in January.

    After he pleaded guilty, judicial marshals placed the man in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, who reported him to be Arnoldo Velazquez-Perez, a Mexican national. Wallingford police said a fingerprint check revealed his name to be Velazquez-Perez after he had initially provided a false name at the time of his arrest on the DUI charge in January 2017.

    The man’s apprehension by ICE at the courthouse last week led to an emotional and tense scene between immigration activists and judicial marshals and resulted in the arrest of a Meriden city councilor.

    A court file on Velazquez-Perez lists Elias Roblero-Berduo as an alias, and a file under the name Roblero-Berduo lists Velazquez-Perez as an alias.

    “On Dec. 13, 2018, ERO (enforcement and removal officers) arrested Arnoldo Rusvel Velazquez-Perez, a citizen of Mexico who has been previously removed from the United States twice, following his conviction of driving under the influence in Meriden Superior Court,” according to a statement from ICE spokesman John Mohan.

    ICE issued a detainer with the state Department of Correction in September for Velazquez-Perez, who was previously removed from the U.S. in 2010 and 2018, and was incarcerated on his pending charges, the statement continued.

    “Following Velazquez’s conviction on Dec.13, 2018, the Connecticut Judicial Marshal’s office notified ICE (officers) that his case had been adjudicated and that he was thus eligible to be released to ICE custody. Velazquez will be held in ICE custody pending his removal from the United States, “ Mohan stated.

    Listed as Roblero-Berduo, the man was arrested on an impaired driving charge in New Haven in December 2016. He was also found not to have a license, according to court records.

    On Jan. 4, 2017, Wallingford police responded to reports of an impaired driver. According to an arrest warrant, the driver identified himself as Roblero-Berduo and produced an Elm City identification card. Wallingford police confirmed Roblero-Berduo did not have a license.

    Several days later, a fingerprint match in the criminal database revealed another identity.

    “At the time of his arrest, he provided a false name,” said Wallingford police spokeswoman Lt. Cheryl Bradley. “His fingerprints revealed his true identity as Velazquez-Perez. A warrant was completed for him with the charges of criminal impersonation and interfering with an officer. He was transported to court by judicial marshals on Nov. 19 where he was served with the warrant.”

    Wallingford police confirmed that Velazquez-Perez’s license had been suspended in 2008 for failure to take a breathalyzer test for suspicion of driving under the influence.

    The New Haven DUI case under the name Roblero-Berduo was transferred to Meriden and adjudicated last week with the Wallingford DUI and criminal impersonation case. Court records list Roblero-Berduo as receiving a suspended sentence and two years’ probation with special conditions. The state’s judicial website reflects the court’s recent action under the name Roblero-Berduo. The name Velazquez-Perez name does not appear on the site.

    A spokeswoman said the Judicial Branch could not clarify the discrepancy.

    As his family waited his release, the man was detained and placed in ICE custody. His children ran to the rear yard of the courthouse where their father waited in a white van. Immigration advocates followed. As court marshals tried to clear the area, City Councilor Miguel Castro, a vocal immigration advocate, was arrested for allegedly assaulting two judicial marshals.

    Castro denied the charges, and witnesses from the Unidad Latina en Acción are not publicly discussing details that led to the arrest, or sharing any video of the event. The witnesses believe they will be called upon as court witnesses, said Debra Cohen, who works with the Middlesex Immigrant Rights Alliance and Connecticut Shoreline Indivisible.

    Cohen told a crowd of people at a City Council meeting Monday that she witnessed the incident, and praised Castro’s efforts to help immigrants and their families. Outside of the meeting, Cohen said state police did not accurately depict what happened.

    Members of the man’s family could not be reached for comment.
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