Judge denies bond to El Paso man indicted on charge of posing as ICE agent

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A magistrate judge in El Paso on Wednesday denied bond to a man indicted on charges of impersonating a federal agent.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Miguel A. Torres said the Office of Pre-Trial Services raised concerns regarding bond for Jose Alejandro Vaquera, 27.

“I’m ordering you detained on my own motion,” Torres told Vaquera.

A federal grand jury earlier indicted Vaquera in connection to a July 8, 2018, incident in which he allegedly knowingly pretended to be an agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) engaged in detaining and arresting a person. The grand jury indictment was only recently unsealed. Public records show that Vaquera was initially arrested on Feb. 6, 2019, and held in the El Paso County Jail Annex on charges of impersonating a public servant and aggravated perjury.

The magistrate on Wednesday asked Vaquera if he was unemployed and had no savings. The accused said that was the case and told the judge he was in the process of requesting disability status. Torres told Vaquera he qualified to have a public defender represent him and that one would be contacting him shortly.

The magistrate set Vaquera’s next detention and bond hearing for 9:30 a.m. Nov. 4 in Federal District Court.

Vaquera faces up to three years in prison if found guilty, as well as a fine of up to $250,000 and three years of supervised release. There is also a $100 assessment for a special victims’ fund.

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