Federal agents intend to prosecute former Nipomo murder suspect Julio Cesar Alonso for criminal re-entry into the United States, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
The announcement comes a day after Alonso was released into the custody of Immigration Customs Enforcement when the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office dismissed a murder charge against Alonso, who was accused of killing his girlfriend Paulina Ramirez in her Nipomo home May 31.
Alonso, who was born in Mexico, was living with Ramirez in the 600 block of Pomeroy Road after illegally crossing the border sometime after his August 2016 deportation.
Alonso was charged in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on June 7 with the stabbing death of Ramirez, but the District Attorney’s Office cited insufficient evidence to prosecute the case.
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ICE had lodged an immigration detainer against Alonso after his initial arrest.
“In light of Mr. Alonso’s immigration and criminal history, which includes a prior removal in 2016 and multiple previous felony convictions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California has agreed to prosecute him for re-entry after deportation, a felony violation that carries the potential of a multi-year federal prison term,” ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice wrote in a statement.
Alonso is being held at the U.S. Penitentiary in Victorville, Kice said. He remains a “person of interest” in Ramirez’s death, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Lee Cunningham said Wednesday.
Alonso is expected to make an initial appearance in federal court once the criminal complaint has been formally filed, and he will remain in ICE custody until that time, according to Kice.
Brian Buckley, the attorney who most recently was representing Alonso on the murder charge according to court records, did not respond to multiple requests for comment Thursday.