Last week, Capitol Police reported the arrest of a man on Capitol grounds whose behavior aroused officers' suspicions. It turned out that the man was armed with a cleaver, a butcher knife and a brick. The arrested man is a 23-year-old illegal alien from Venezuela who was arrested by Border Patrol agents near El Paso in 2022 and released because there was no place to hold him, ICE announced today. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the man now faces “deportation proceedings.”
Also on Tuesday, the mayor of Edison, New Jersey, a Democrat, announced he would return illegal alien immigrants to the border due to concerns they could be armed and pose security and health risks.
Capitol Police statement dated December 27, 2023:
Yesterday afternoon, US Capitol Police (USCP) officers arrested a man carrying a machete and a knife on the East Front of the US Capitol.
“This is another example of the vigilance and keen intuition of our USCP officers,” said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger. “I am proud of our police officers who routinely work to keep everyone safe throughout the U.S. Capitol.”
On Tuesday, at approximately 4:15 p.m., a USCP officer saw a man pacing back and forth, then sitting on a ledge on the east side of the U.S. Capitol. After seeing the man's strange behavior, the officer approached the man. After speaking with him for a few minutes, the officer noticed a rock in the man's pocket. The officer asked him to throw the brick to the side. After he complied, the man also took out a knife and placed it on the edge. The officer called for backup and secured the knife.
The officer then noticed a machete handle under the man's clothing. The officer drew his service weapon and ordered the man to raise his hands. The man complied and officers were able to safely take the machete away from the man and arrest him.
The suspect has been identified as 23-year-old Jose Leonardo Marquez of no fixed address.
While the investigation continues, it is not yet clear what Marquez was doing in Washington, D.C. At this time, there is no evidence that Marquez was targeting members of Congress. He is currently charged with carrying a dangerous weapon and possessing a prohibited weapon.
ICE Statement January 2, 2024 (excerpt):
Law Enforcement and Removal Operations An undocumented noncitizen was arrested in Washington, D.C., for carrying a machete, a butcher knife, and a brick into the U.S. Capitol. On December 27, deportation officers from ERO's field office in Washington, D.C., detained José Leonardo Márquez Márquez, a 23-year-old Venezuelan national who was arrested by U.S. Capitol Police on December 26.
“José Leonardo Márquez Márquez posed a significant threat to people in and around the U.S. Capitol,” said Patrick Defever, acting director of the ERO's Washington, D.C., field office. “Thanks to our law enforcement partners at the U.S. Capitol Police, this threat was quickly mitigated. Fortunately, Marquez is currently in ERO custody and will face deportation proceedings.”
Marquez illegally entered the United States on an unknown date, at an unknown location, and without admission, inspection, or parole by an immigration official.
Marquez was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol on August 21, 2022, near El Paso, Texas. The next day, the USBP released Marquez on alternatives to detention due to lack of detention capacity.
Marquez reported to ERO Washington, D.C. on October 5, 2023. ERO Washington, D.C., issued him a Notice to Appear before a Department of Justice Immigration Judge.
US Capitol Police in Washington, D.C., arrested Marquez on December 26, 2023, and charged him with carrying a dangerous weapon and possessing a prohibited weapon.
On December 27, 2023, ERO Washington, D.C. filed an Immigration Detention – Notice of Action, against Marquez with the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington, D.C. Later that day, the USMS transferred Marquez to the custody of ERO Washington, D.C., where he issued a notice of custody decision.
M Marquez is currently in the custody of ICE ERO in Washington, DC