Man freed early from prison, then ICE detains him

Elias Hubbard
May 22, 2017

DENVER (AP) — What was supposed to be a joyous homecoming for a Colorado man whose 98-year prison term was cut short turned to heartache when he was detained by immigration officials just as he was set to be released.

Cubans convicted after that agreement, such as Lima-Marin, are not automatically accepted by Cuba because of that deal.

He and his friend Michael Clifton robbed two video stores at gunpoint.

In the following years Lima-Marin stayed out of trouble, married, and started a family; only to be told in 2014 that the court had realized its mistake and he'd be going back to prison. "I'm still a bit in shock", she said. "Not all people who are rehabilitated behave that way". Lima-Marin was out of prison for six years, he said, and ICE did not do anything about his legal status until now. Lima-Marin was a Cuban immigrant who came to the United States with his parents as a toddler during the 1980 Mariel boatlift.

The mix-up for the father of two boiled down to an error in paperwork that said Lima-Miran's sentences were to be served concurrently, instead of consecutively.

FILE - In this May 7, 2014 file photo, Rene Lima-Marin sits for an interview with The Associated Press about the circumstances of his sentencing and incarceration, in a meeting room inside Kit Carson Correctional Center, a privately operated prison in Burlington, Colo.

Mistakenly released inmate who won reprieve... His absence from prison wasn't noticed until 2014 when a former prosecutor searched for his name on the DOC's inmate locator website.

He was arrested-again-that day at 11 p.m., taken into custody in front of his family with the intention he would serve the remainder of his 98-year sentence.

Lima-Marin, who came to the USA from Cuba with his parents when he was a toddler during the 1980 Mariel boat lift, was convicted in 2000 of multiple robbery, kidnapping and burglary counts after he and another man robbed two video stores at gunpoint. However, no one was injured in the robberies and no shots were fired.

The judge described him as a model prisoner who completed five years of parole with flying colors. But Samour added that re-incarcerating Lima-Marin now "would perpetuate a manifest injustice".

On Tuesday, a judge said Lima-Marin has paid his debt to society.

During the next six years, Lima-Marin did not return to a life of crime. "No other remedy will result in justice in this case".

After a lengthy clemency process, Josiah and his step-brother Justus, 10, were expecting Lima-Marin's release on Wednesday when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement unexpectedly got involved.

Diego said Lima-Marin is now being held at the Fremont Correctional Facility in Canon City, Colo., and he could be released in the next day or two.

Instead, he walked into the long, tangled arms of federal immigration law and is now in the custody of agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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