Illegal immigrant who was bailed out by celebrities and defended by ACLU wanted in homicide

An illegal immigrant previously arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2019 and released on bail paid for by celebrities is now wanted in connection to a Tulare County, California homicide.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

An illegal immigrant who was previously arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2019, then released on bail which was paid for by celebrities, is now wanted in connection to a Tulare County, California homicide.

Tulare County sheriff's detectives have named 24-year-old Jose Omar Bello Reyes as the third man involved in the fatal shooting of a 58-year-old man. His body was found at a Terra Bella orchard.

KGET has obtained documents that reveal a man with the same name and date of birth was arrested by ICE in 2019, 36 hours after he read a poem criticizing ICE before the Kern County Board of Supervisors.

Bello, a Bakersfield College student, was held at the Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center in Bakersfield for around three months.

Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis helped post Bello's $50,000 bail through the NFL Players Coalition, which according to is a social justice program comprised of professional football players.

Also contributing to Bello's bail was the New York Immigration Freedom Fund and National Bail Fund Network.

"Jose Bello was exercising a fundamental right that we pride ourselves on as Americans," said Norman at the time. "If he was detained for reciting a peaceful poem then we should really ask ourselves, are our words truly free? This is America right? Where the First Amendment is freedom of speech, unless I missed the memo somewhere. He was exercising that right."

The American Civil Liberties Union also filed a lawsuit on behalf of Bello, stating prior to his August 2019 release on bail that Bello's arrest violated his First Amendment rights.

"Bello also faces multiple felony drug and gun charges stemming from an arrest in September in Kern County, according to court records. He was released on bail Sept. 3," according to KGET.

Jesus Manjarrez, 23, and Dan Eli Perez, 38, have been arrested in connection to the Tulare case, with both men being held without without bail on suspicion of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

"Deputies said they found a dozen weapons and illegal drugs after serving search warrants at multiple locations," according to KGET.


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