U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has issued detainers against three Bowling Green residents arrested this week in the reported sale of an infant.
Maria Domingo Perez, 31, Pascual Manuel, 45 and Catarina Felipe, 37, are awaiting a preliminary hearing next week on a charge of sell/purchase a child for adoption.
Perez is accused of selling her infant child for $2,000 to Manuel and Felipe. The three were arrested Tuesday by the Bowling Green Police Department.
Warren County Regional Jail records indicate ICE has placed detainers on the three co-defendants since their arrests.
An ICE detainer is a written request that a local jail or other law enforcement agency keep an alien in custody for up to 48 hours after their planned release to allow ICE to then take custody and potentially begin deportation proceedings.
An emailed statement from ICE said the three defendants are Guatemalan citizens who are illegally in the U.S. and immigration officials encountered Perez last year at the southwest border and placed her in immigration proceedings.
The arrests came about after the BGPD received information Monday from a Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School employee that Perez had given away a child, according to an arrest citation.
City police conducted a welfare check at Perez’s residence on West 10th Avenue.
“(Perez) returned to the residence with the child and gave multiple conflicting statements,” her arrest citation said. “(Perez) eventually stated she had given the child away to Pascual Jose Manuel and Catarina Felipe.”
When police made contact with Manuel, he said he paid $2,000 for the baby, who was born in October, and planned to adopt the child, according to police records.
The baby at the center of the criminal case, along with Perez’s other four children, were removed from the home and placed in protective custody with social services.
The charge of selling/purchasing a child for adoption is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Perez, Manuel and Felipe were arraigned Wednesday, and not guilty pleas were entered on their behalf.
They remain in Warren County Regional Jail under $10,000 cash bonds.