- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Three Mexican brothers identified as part of an investigation into the shocking killing of a North Carolina sheriff’s deputy were all in the country illegally — including one who was caught and released at the border under the Trump administration.

Alder Alfonso Marin Sotelo, 25, and Arturo Marin Sotelo, 29, have been charged with murder in the killing of Wake County Deputy Ned Byrd.

Their younger brother Rolando Marin Sotelo, 18, faces a weapons charge but has not been charged in connection with the deputy’s killing.

All three sneaked into the country, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Arturo was first arrested jumping the border as a juvenile in 2010 and was allowed to return to Mexico. Authorities don’t know when he sneaked back into the U.S.

Border Patrol agents first nabbed Rolando as a juvenile in Arizona in October 2019. He was sent back to Mexico but returned two months later. He showed up 1,000 miles to the east at an official border crossing in Brownsville, Texas.

Though he lacked permission to enter, he did so anyway under what is known as “parole.” Nearly three years later, he still hasn’t had his immigration hearing.

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Federal prosecutors indicted him this week on a charge of being an illegal immigrant in possession of ammunition. An FBI agent said North Carolina police arrested Rolando on Aug. 16 and found evidence of marijuana use and dozens of rounds of 9 mm ammunition in his car.

Federal authorities didn’t encounter the middle brother, Alder, until his arrest in connection with the death of Byrd, a 48-year-old Raleigh resident. Alder did have a local citation in Chapel Hill last year for firearms possession. A state trooper issued the citation.

The Raleigh News & Observer reported that the charge was dismissed after Alder failed to show up for court twice.

A state police spokesperson didn’t respond to an inquiry about whether ICE was notified when Alder Sotelo was found with a weapon. Being an illegal immigrant in possession of a firearm is a federal felony, as his younger brother has learned.

William Gheen, who is based in North Carolina and is president of the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, placed blame for Byrd’s killing on broken borders and sanctuary policies that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

“The Sotelo brothers should have never been in America in the first place and should have had ICE detainers placed on them through 287(g) programs when previously encountered by police,” Mr. Gheen told The Washington Times.

Byrd was fatally shot in Raleigh around 11 p.m. on Aug. 11.

Authorities said he responded to a domestic call earlier in the night, but the sheriff’s department struggled to explain why his vehicle was where it was.

He was found dead by another deputy who went to check on him just after 1 a.m. His K-9 partner, Sasha, was in his vehicle.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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