Santa Maria Police chief testifies about criminal aliens

April 30, 2016
Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez

Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez

By KAREN VELIE

Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin said Thursday at a congressional hearing that the United States is running a catch and release program for criminal aliens that is putting the public at risk, during his testimony to the Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The purpose of the hearing was to examine the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) policies and procedures related to the release of criminal aliens and to assess the impact those policies have on public safety. During the at times contentious hearing, committee members questioned DHS officials about their policies and procedures.

Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC): “How many drug dealers, how many rapists, how many kidnappers do you let get an ‘out of jail free card?’”

After hearing testimony from family members of murder victims and law enforcement officials, the committee determined that “President Obama’s executive actions on immigration – announced in November 2014 – increase risk to public safety. Arrests, detainers issued, and removals at ICE are down almost 40 percent.”

As a result, “the administration’s policies have led to the release of 86,288 criminal aliens who committed 231,074 crimes since 2013.”

 

Transcript of Martin’s testimony:

“My name is Ralph Martin and I am the Police Chief for the City of Santa Maria, California. Santa Maria is the largest city in Santa Barbara County, and one of the largest on the Central Coast. It has a population of over 100,000, is a few minutes from the coastline, and is surrounded by agriculture. We are halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“I am here today to share with you an event that occurred just nine months ago. It is about the brutal and vicious attack of 64 year old Santa Maria resident, Marilyn Pharis. At the time of this attack, Ms. Pharis was gainfully employed at nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base where she worked the night shift as a Satellite Tracker Civilian Contractor since 1974. She is also a four-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

“On the morning of July 24, 2015, at approximately 9:45 a.m., while Ms. Pharis was sleeping, two suspects broke into her home,sexually assaulted her, strangled her, and beat her about her head and face with a hammer.

“But despite the incredible beating, Marilyn would not give up. She fought back with all the strength she could muster, even while receiving repeated blows.

“The suspects left her for dead. But somehow, with her eye socket shattered and a broken neck bone, she called 9-1-1.

“As the suspects made their escape, one of them, identified as Victor Martinez-Ramirez, broke into another home on West Donovan Street, entering through a sliding door. There, he encountered three young children and their mother. The mother called 9-1-1, and the suspect fled.

“As officers were responding to Ms. Pharis’ home, additional officers were now responding to the West Donovan Street home. Suspect Martinez starts jumping backyard fences, but the officers set up a solid perimeter around him. Within minutes, one of our K-9 officers finds Martinez hiding underneath a tarp on the patio of a home on Cox Street, three blocks from Ms. Pharis’ home and one block from the Donovan home.

“He was arrested for burglary, sexual assault, and attempted murder.

“During the fourth day of the investigation, detectives identified and arrested the second suspect, Jose Villa Gomez. He was subsequently charged with the same crimes as Martinez.

“Eight days after Ms. Pharis was attacked, she died in her hospital bed, unable to recover from her brutal injuries. Victor Martinez-Ramirez is an illegal alien from Mexico. He had been arrested by the Santa Maria Police Department six times in the previous 15 months. He was released from the Santa Barbara County Jail 96 hours before he attacked Ms. Pharis.

“Villa Gomez is a U.S. Citizen. He had one previous arrest. Both are currently in custody awaiting trial. Whenever the federal or state government fails to do its job, it falls on the shoulders of local government, which is not equipped to deal with the issues, either financially or in dedicating personnel.

“The arrest sheet on Martinez is a glaring example of federal and state failures. On one occasion in 2014, ICE filed a form I-247 Immigration Detainer – Notice of Action.

“However, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department does not recognize this as a lawful hold based on the Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County, Oregon Federal Court ruling.

“Two weeks before the attack, Martinez was “cited” as opposed to arrested for possession of meth, because of California’s Prop 47 which I’ll address in a moment.

“On July 16, 2015, eight days before assaulting Ms. Pharis, Martinez was arrested for felony possession of a dirk or dagger, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia. He was additionally charged with two misdemeanors, two $10,000 warrants, failure to appear, and violation of probation.

“There was no ICE detainer submitted during this detention. Four days later in court, the weapon charge was dismissed, a “No Contest” plea entered for drug paraphernalia, and he was released that day. Four days later, he assaulted Ms. Pharis.

“The State of California passed Prop 47 in November 2014. It was a complete con job pulled on the people. Titled “Safe Schools – Safe Neighborhoods” sounds like a fine title. But it was only a title. In the fine print it reduced felony drug possession like heroin, cocaine, meth, etc. to a misdemeanor citable offense. Thousands of arrestees petition the courts to reduce their convictions. So did Martinez.

“The City of Santa Maria, as well as other cities throughout California, are seeing an increase in homeless persons that have high drug dependency. Many of these persons would have been removed from our streets, been required to appear in court, and referred to drug rehabilitation/treatment programs. But, the numbers have substantially decreased in these programs because of California’s Prop 47.

“As our U.S. Marine makes a wrong turn at the border in Tijuana and ends up in a jail cell for months, we in the U.S. are running catch and release programs for criminal aliens.

“I’ve been in this business for over 40 years, and every time I hear the term “senseless tragedy” or “terrible accident,” I cringe. When our federal and state laws are not enforced, all we really have is predicable consequences.”

 

Video of the hearing:

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14 Comments

  1. Josey Wales says:

    Ladies & Gentlemen,

    Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin tells only part of the story.

    Santa Maria, under the current city council, has embraced ‘Sanctuary City’ policies, and now the city is in the midst of an illegal alien/gangster crime spree. Members of the violent El Salvadorian MS-13 drug distribution cartel have developed deep roots into Santa Maria culture, and their children deal meth in the local high schools.

    While SB County 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavignino and Mayor Alice Patino & Co. deny the severity of the situation, good families continue to flee Santa Maria, and the FBI has put Santa Maria on its ‘Most Violent Cities’ list. Earlier this year, the 7 time convicted illegal alien who iCE wanted to deport, was saved from that fate by local political leaders, who were acting on behalf of their ‘Big Ag’ masters, as well as the illegal alien farmworker union, CAUSE. The illegal alien that SM Police Chief Ralph Martin references was intentionally released from custody by the SANTA MARIA POLICE DEPARTMENT, and he went on to viciously murder Mrs. Marilyn Pharis, a US military veteran.

    Do not let what has happened in Santa Maria happen to SLO county. Santa Maria city officials are lying to the public, and their poor public policy decisions are resulting in the deaths of innocent children.

    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  2. obispan says:

    “Wrong turn at the border”. There is no such thing, it is not like missing a freeway exit and having to double back. Our whacko Republican marine entered Mexico, rented a room in a red-light district hotel in Tijuana, returned to the US the same day and reentered Mexico with a pick-up truck full of illegal weapons, Duncan Hunters hero.

    (-22) 34 Total Votes - 6 up - 28 down
    • Snoid says:

      Hum well lets see..last time I entered Mex and headed down Hwy 1 they had diverted traffic over corner lot off the roadway and then promptly pulled drivers over for driving over private property. The fix, pay up on the spot or follow the Feds cops to the jail house in TJ where I can imagine what would take place. You seriously standing up for these scumbag illegals who do these crimes? What the hell is wrong with you might I ask.

      (18) 24 Total Votes - 21 up - 3 down
    • Citizen says:

      Obispan, you obviously haven’t done much travel in Mexico, or you would know better. So naive. If you don’t know, if you haven’t traveled in Mexico, you shouldn’t assume you know. You don’t.

      (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
  3. Pelican1 says:

    The proper program should be titled: “CATCH AND DEPORT” (immediately)

    (26) 32 Total Votes - 29 up - 3 down
  4. mej says:

    One of many reasons that I will vote for Trump. Survival

    (29) 45 Total Votes - 37 up - 8 down
  5. mkaney says:

    I call bull#*$@.

    – First, the Oregon case only applies when there is no probable cause to hold the suspect beyond their ordinary confinement. Any history of violent crime or failure to appear is considered probable cause to hold a suspect beyond what the court determines, for the purposes of an ICE detainer.

    – Second, there is no reason, with failures to appear, that the suspect should have every been released before trial. Thirtd, even any violent crime or failure to appear is considered a legitimate reason to hold a suspect on an ICE detainer even

    – Third, whether to cite or detain for possession of methamphetamine would be at the discretion of the officer and/or the officer’s supervisor. Clearly, this guy should have been detained It has nothing to do with Proposition 47.

    Ralph Martin bears a great deal of responsibility for what happened. He runs a police department full of grossly overpaid officers that is corrupt to the core and has very little understanding of their own local crime culture. So now, he is doubling down on his lies and misrepresentations, in front of congress no less, to deflect any responsibility.

    (-25) 51 Total Votes - 13 up - 38 down
    • mkaney says:

      All I want for Christmas is an edit feature.

      (4) 12 Total Votes - 8 up - 4 down
    • mkaney says:

      If you are voting thumbs down and don’t agree with my statement, I would love to hear your argument as to why the chief bears no responsibility and this is entirely the fault of the federal government

      (-9) 25 Total Votes - 8 up - 17 down
  6. r0y says:

    Bad timing, Chief! We are coming up on a big election year, so the catch-and-release is part of the 1-2 punch the democrats use (the other being no ID required to vote).

    Flood the cities and counties with illegals, make sure they vote democrat and are not required to show an ID. Simple plan from the minds of simpletons to perpetrate a massive fraud on the mindless.

    No more sanctuary cities.

    No more anonymous voting.

    You want to see what happens? Look at Sweden and Germany (or basically any country in Europe right now). You WILL lose your identity, it WILL come back to bite you in the ass. Wise up, it’s not “racist” or “whatever-phobe” to keep one’s doors locked so you can control who comes into your house, is it?

    (25) 39 Total Votes - 32 up - 7 down
    • mkaney says:

      Please provide ACTUAL evidence, not some study based on polling, but actual evidence of illegals voting in elections.

      (-15) 31 Total Votes - 8 up - 23 down
  7. CentralcoastRN says:

    Bravo Mr. Martin.

    You cannot argue with the facts.

    (17) 27 Total Votes - 22 up - 5 down
  8. 65buick says:

    The idea behind the language in 47 was to stop wasting money by locking people up for drug crimes.
    This one (guy) was simple: whether the US or Mexico, he should have been locked up for good. There’s not much you can do, you can’t rehabilitate.
    The only good idea the North Koreans have when it comes to punishment of this caliber is years of hard labor. Not a cozy cell with 3 hots and a cot, tv and whatever other nonsense happens in our jails/prisons.
    As a society we must be able to afford to lock up these people that are a danger to all.

    (32) 36 Total Votes - 34 up - 2 down
  9. Rich in MB says:

    and people can’t understand why el Trumpo is popular?
    He is the only Politician sounding serious about dealing the the out of control illegal immigration problem in the USA. It is costing tax payers Billions of Dollars and American Citizens are losing their lives at the hands of Illegal Immigrants.

    The % of Illegal Immigrants in Prison is out of control…more tax payer money….

    The Establishment in Both Parties caused the problem…they created el Trumpo…

    (47) 61 Total Votes - 54 up - 7 down

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