Immigration Law

Mistakenly released inmate who won reprieve from judge is arrested by federal immigration agents

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The future appeared bright for an inmate mistakenly released from prison in 2008 when a Colorado judge ruled Tuesday that he won’t have to serve the final 90 years of his sentence for participating in the two video store robberies.

But things took a turn for the worse for Rene Lima-Marin on Wednesday when federal immigration officials arrested him, report The Associated Press and the Denver Post. Lima-Marin was a Cuban immigrant who came to the United States with his parents as a toddler during the 1980 Mariel boatlift.

During nearly six years of freedom, Rene Lima-Marin married, became a father, became active in his church and secured a job installing glass windows in skyscrapers. He was sent back to prison in 2014 when the mistake was discovered.

Chief District Judge Carlos Samour Jr. of Arapahoe County had concluded it would be “draconian” and a “manifest injustice” to require Lima-Marin to remain in prison and ordered his release on Tuesday.

Lima-Marin’s lawyer, Kimberly Diego, told the AP she is scrambling to find an immigration lawyer for her client. “Everyone is completely devastated,” Diego said. “Everything has been turned on its head.”

Diego told the Denver Post that Lima-Marin’s immigration status was “absolutely legal.”

Lima-Marin had been convicted of robbery, kidnapping and burglary in 2000 for participating in the two armed robberies, though Lima-Marin said the gun wasn’t loaded. He was mistakenly paroled in 2008 because a clerk listed his sentences as running concurrently, rather than consecutively.

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