Judge dismisses riot charges against 140 illegal immigrants accused of rushing border in El Paso

"I don't believe there is probable cause for these individuals to continue to be detained for the offense of riot participation."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
On Monday, a judge in El Paso, Texas dismissed the cases of 140 illegal immigrants charged in connection with a border that took place when the illegal immigrants stormed border patrol agents at the US-Mexico border earlier this month.

All 140 still face federal charges stemming from their illegal entry into the country, though most illegal immigrants are given a court date some years into the future and released into the domestic US. The Biden administration often offers free flights for these individuals to cities and states across the country.

According to the El Paso Times, County Court Judge Ruben Morales ruled that the Texas Department of Public Safety as well as state troopers had failed to adequately prove that there was probable cause to charge those involved in the April 12 incident.

"After reviewing the affidavit, I don't believe that [probable cause] exists," he argued. "I don't believe there is probable cause for these individuals to continue to be detained for the offense of riot participation."

El Paso County Public Defender Kelli Childress pointed out that the affidavit did not mention anyone actually seeing the defendents take part in the riot, while El Paso Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Vandenbosch argued that by "waiting for someone to cut the concertina wire," they knew exactly what they were doing.


Following the hearing, Childress explained that it was just "one step" in the process, and that the district attorney's office could still indict the illegal immigrants on riot charges at a later date.

"Can the DA go back and indict them now?" she said. "Sure, but I would hope they would have the integrity to explain to a Grand Jury what probable cause means and the fact that the judge found there was none."

The group will soon be transferred from state custody to federal custody to have their illegal entry charges dealt with.

Two other illegal immigrants charged alongside the larger group failed to have their cases dismissed on the grounds that one was already in federal custody, and the other was charged with criminal mischief instead of participating in a riot.

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