Venezuelan Detained for Machete and Knife Possession at U.S. Capitol

Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash

( – In a significant incident reported by the Washington Examiner, Capitol Police detained 23-year-old Venezuelan Jose Leonardo Marquez on December 26th. This arrest occurred at the U.S. Capitol Building, where Marquez was found wielding a machete, a butcher’s knife, and a brick. He now faces charges for carrying a dangerous weapon and possessing a prohibited weapon.

Marquez’s presence in the United States was illegal, according to statements from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE ERO) in Washington, D.C. It was revealed that he entered the country without legal authorization, bypassing official immigration checkpoints. His exact entry date and location remain unknown.

The term “got-away” is used to describe individuals like Marquez who enter the U.S. illegally, deliberately avoiding law enforcement detection at ports of entry. Since January 2021, reports suggest that around 1.7 million such cases have occurred, as noted by The Center Square.

Patrick Divver, the acting field office director of ICE ERO in Washington, D.C., highlighted the serious threat Marquez posed to the safety of individuals near the U.S. Capitol. He commended the U.S. Capitol Police for their swift action in neutralizing this threat. Marquez is currently detained by ERO and is awaiting removal proceedings.

Previously, Marquez had been detained by Border Patrol agents near El Paso, Texas, on August 21, 2022. However, he was released the following day due to insufficient detention capacity. Later, he voluntarily presented himself to ICE ERO officials in Washington, D.C., on October 5, 2023, and was issued a notice to appear before an immigration judge.

Following his arrest, an immigration detainer was filed against Marquez by ICE ERO agents with the U.S. Marshals Service on December 27, 2023. He was subsequently transferred to ICE ERO custody.

In the broader context, ICE ERO arrested 46,396 illegal immigrants with criminal records in the fiscal year 2022. These individuals were associated with 198,498 charges and convictions, including assault, sexual assault, weapons offenses, homicide, and kidnapping.

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