- Associated Press - Thursday, February 23, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO — Federal immigration officials are firmly denying that they misled a local police force in California in a raid targeting an El Salvador-based gang.

Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel had said Thursday that Department of Homeland Security officials lied when they assured them that a Feb. 13 joint operation in the region would not include immigration-related arrests. Police say they later learned that 11 people had been detained for being in the country illegally.

But Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman James Schwab says that Santa Cruz police had been informed before the raid that some foreign nationals might be held briefly held until their identities and case histories could be determined. Schwab says that’s exactly what happened, and 10 of the 11 immigrants were released.

Schwab says one remains in custody because of his criminal history and possible ties to the gang investigation.

Schwab says any allegations that agents were making secret plans to detain people solely for immigration are “false, reckless and disturbing.”

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