by Kate Sheehy
It was still dark when a Red Bluff woman peered through her apartment window this morning to discover two men dressed in dark uniforms with badges that read “police.” She opened the door only after they showed her the driver’s license of a family member who had left for work less than 10 minutes earlier.
The officers were actually from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in town, according to the Tehama County Sheriff’s Department, for a two-day operation. Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston told ChicoSol that his office was notified March 18 that the ICE Mobile Criminal Alien Team had “targeted 41 criminal alien individuals” in the area. He did not provide specifics on the types of crimes involved, but said ICE had outlined three tiers of “fugitives.”
Johnston said the operation would only involve the sheriff’s office if deputies were needed for emergency backup, something that hasn’t yet happened, he added. ICE has not made any request for detainees in the Tehama jail, he said.
The Red Bluff resident who saw officers outside her door just before 6 a.m. Tuesday said they did not identify themselves as ICE agents. When she opened her window to see what they wanted, they asked if she knew Oscar Oseguera. The woman asked repeatedly what had happened, as Oseguera is a family member. After the officers showed her they had his California driver’s license and Mexican identification card, she opened the door.
They then asked if anyone at the apartment was on parole. “No,” replied the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Heriberto Jimenez, who also lives in the apartment, came to the door to see what was going on. When asked for identification, he showed an ID from Mexico. He was then arrested.
The woman said she was unaware that either man had a criminal record, except for, in Jimenez’ case, a few DUIs.
She later learned from a family member who spoke with Jimenez after the arrests that the men had been taken to Redding and were scheduled to be taken to Sacramento later in the day.