Illegal immigrant wielding AK-47 shot by deputy and later dies; Update with correction

Posted on January 17, 2011

I’m a strong proponent for securing our border.  Living in Arizona, I’m well aware of the danger posed to our country by illegal immigrants bringing drugs and drug related violence into our cities and towns.   Note that I did not say ALL illegal immigrants do this, but some do, and the risk they pose to our society at large demands that more must be done to protect our citizens, starting at the borderline. 

In the following story, there isn’t any reported link to drug cartels (not yet anyway), but anyone who is willing to threaten a law enforcement officer with  an assault rifle can be assumed to be a danger to all of us. 

From KFYI:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the man who threatened Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies Friday night with an AK47 assault rifle died from gunshot wounds early this morning at the Maricopa County Medial Center.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio states the deputy did an outstanding job protecting himself and the public. Because of the suspect’s irrational conduct and his massive amount of firepower and ammunition, the deputy stopped what could have been the potential harm of numerous people.

The Investigation determined that 43 year old Felipe Ramirez Castellanos, an illegal alien, was in an argument with his wife and left the residence in his vehicle. While driving away, Castellanos fired several rounds from a handgun in the air. After a few minutes Castellanos returned to the residence to grab the Ak47 rifle. As Castellanos was leaving in his vehicle, a deputy arrived. The deputy contacted Castellanos who acted in an irrational and threatening manner. He pulled out the assault rifle and pointed it at the deputy. The deputy fired his handgun at Castellanos and struck him in the hip and head.

Castellanos was found to have a total of 120 rifle and handgun bullets in his possession as well as a bowie knife. It is not known what Castellanos was planning to do with all of the weapons and ammunition.

What isn’t reported here, but was reported on the radio and on television, was that this illegal immigrant had been deported before, the last time being April.  On his most recent border crossing into the U.S., if he had tried to come through a border entry checkpoint, he would have been turned around on the spot and not admitted into the U.S given his previous history of illegal entry.    So, let’s sit and ponder a while to figure out how he must have gotten back into the country.  Hmmm…………… it certainly doesn’t seem to have been by any legal means.   The point is that somehow, someway he made it back into the country when he shouldn’t have been here in the first place.

I don’t care if it’s an old fashioned wall, border patrol agents stationed every mile along the border, or a high technology fence, but we need to figure out a way to secure the border so that those who are entering are doing so legally and we know who is coming into our country.


It has now been reported that the April contact with law enforcement written about above was for a traffic violation for which he was turned over to Immigration Customs and Enforcement, but there is no information describing where he went from there.  So it is unclear whether he was deported or was left to leave on his own recognizance. 

Other information included in the report says that Mr. Castellanos served a 90 day sentence back in 1986 for a human smuggling charge.  In 1997 he returned legally to the U.S. on a work visa, but overstayed this visa and therefore was in the country illegally.  

Trying to piece together Mr. Castellanos’ history, it seems he was in this country since 1997, overstaying his visa (as almost half of those who are here illegally are here on overstayed visas).  Then his subsequent traffic violation caused him to be detained and handed over to I.C.E. in April.  What happened next is unclear.  The three possibilities I can think of are 1) he was deported and returned illegally 2) he was released by I.C.E. and ordered to “self-deport” (which is becoming more typical), but he never did, or 3) he was known to be here illegally and was released by I.C.E. without a court order to self-deport and allowed to stay.  Given that the current story describes him listed currently as illegally in the country leads me to believe he was released by I.C.E. after being turned over to them in April with orders to leave the country which he never followed through on. 

As more information becomes available, I will continue to update this post.