A man who was arrested last week for carrying a machete and a knife outside the U.S. Capitol is an illegal immigrant from Venezuela that federal border authorities previously released from custody.
Jose Leonardo Marquez, 23, was arrested by U.S. Capitol Police on the afternoon of December 26 after illegally entering the U.S.
According to a press release from the USCP, an officer observed Marquez’s “strange behavior” and approached him.
The officer spoke with Marquez and noticed a brick in his pocket, which the man tossed to the side at the officer’s request, the agency said.
After Marquez complied, he also removed a knife and placed it on a ledge at the Capitol building.
Authorities said that the observant officer also noticed a handle under the man’s clothing. After calling for backup, the office drew his gun and ordered Marquez to put his hands up.
Authorities found a machete and immediately arrested him.
He was charged with Carrying a Dangerous Weapon and Possession of a Prohibited Weapon.
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Marquez entered the U.S. through El Paso, Texas on an unknown date, but was arrested by officers on Aug. 21, 2022.
ICE said that border patrol released him from custody “due to a lack of detention capacity,” enrolling him in the tracking program known as “Alternatives to Detention.”
Marquez reported to ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Washington, D.C. on Oct. 5, 2023.
Marquez is currently in the custody of ICE ERO Washington, D.C., the agency said.
ERO Washington, D.C. acting Field Office Director Patrick Divver said that Marquez posed a “significant threat” to those around the U.S. Capitol.
“Jose Leonardo Marquez-Marquez posed a significant threat to people in and around the U.S. Capitol,” said Divver. “Thanks to our law enforcement partners at the U.S. Capitol Police, this threat was mitigated quickly. Fortunately, Marquez is currently in ERO custody and will face removal proceedings.”
Fox News reported this week that migrant numbers at the southern border exceeded 300,000 in December, marking a new all-time record for encounters.
According to the agency, ICE made roughly 3,000 criminal arrests in fiscal year 2023.