Federal officials have charged Jose Inez Garcia Zarate with immigration and gun possession violations, one week after the illegal alien was acquitted in the murder of Kate Steinle.
“A federal grand jury indicted Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate today for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and for being an illegally-present alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition,” the Department of Justice announced.
Zarate faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail for each charge.
Last week, a San Francisco jury acquitted Zarate of murder and manslaughter in the 2015 shooting death of Steinle. At the time, Kate was strolling on a pier with her dad when she was shot by Zarate, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who had been deported five times.
His attorneys claimed the gun went off accidentally. Three times.
Shockingly, the jury was not told that Zarate was a 7-time convicted felon when deciding his verdict. The case has sparked national outrage over sanctuary cities, and the need for stricter laws on illegal immigration. President Trump called the verdict “a total miscarriage of justice.”
San Francisco is one of 200 sanctuary cities around the country, so the local police don’t have to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
Months before Kate Steinle’s murder, San Francisco authorities released Jose Zarate from custody, ignoring a request from federal authorities to turn him over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Zarate told authorities that he specifically went to San Francisco because it was a sanctuary city.
“San Francisco’s policy of refusing to honor ICE detainers is a blatant threat to public safety and undermines the rule of law,” ICE Deputy Director Tom Homan said. “This tragedy could have been prevented if San Francisco had turned the alien over to ICE, as we requested, instead of releasing him back onto the streets.”
After Zarate was acquitted, ICE authorities said they planned to deport him for a sixth time. Whether he’s deported or jailed for illegal gun possession, justice will not be served in Kate Steinle’s senseless murder.