The man arrested in connection to swastikas found outside of Union Station in Washington, D.C., was deported twice from the country and has an extensive criminal history, the Washington Examiner reported.
The swastikas were discovered on Jan. 28, the day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day. D.C. Police arrested Geraldo Pando, 34, the day the vandalism was discovered, according to the department. Police said the incident is being investigated as being motivate by hate or bias.
According to the Examiner, Pando had a 35-page criminal background in Colorado before his recent arrival in the nation’s capital. Pando is reportedly from Mexico and in the U.S. illegally.
Pando was detained and arrested a week before the Union Station incident for allegedly vandalizing the Capitol Police headquarters, a senior Senate aide reportedly told the Examiner.
“The criminal who defaced Union Station with antisemitic symbols, Geraldo Pando, should not have been able to commit this act of hatred. He is a convicted felon and an unlawful migrant with a criminal history of deportations and arrests, including for assault on a first responder,” said Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, according to the Examiner.
“It is inexcusable that ICE did not process him and he was released back into the community to commit such a heinous crime,” Portman said, the Examiner reported. “This administration’s poor policies and reluctance to remove criminals from our streets continue to result in additional harm to our country.”
Pando was first arrested in Aurora, Colorado, in February 2006 “on charges of felony drug possession, driving without a license and proof of insurance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana,” according to the Examiner. Pando reportedly pleaded guilty to the marijuana and felony drug possession charges, while other charges were dismissed. Pando was sentenced to 18 months of probation, but he was arrested again in February 2007, the Examiner reported.
The Aurora Police Department arrested Pando in April 2016 on two felony charges, according to the Examiner. Pando reportedly pleaded guilty to one of three misdemeanor theft and mischief charges, while two felony charges of trespassing with intent to commit a crime and possession of burglary tools were reportedly dismissed.
In March 2018, Pando was arrested for trespassing and released, according to the Examiner. Pando reportedly failed to appear in court, and police obtained a warrant to arrest him.
One month later, the Denver Police Department arrested Pando on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance, the Examiner reported. Pando was convicted, sentenced to 547 days in jail, and, for the previous trespassing and burglary charges, he was placed on two years of probation, according to the Examiner.
After his release from jail, Pando was arrested by Aurora Police in October 2020 for “assaulting a first responder, reporting false information, and harassment and obscene language,” the Examiner reported. All of these charges were dismissed, according to the Examiner.
Despite Pando’s rap sheet and his reportedly illegal presence in the U.S., Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hasn’t arrested him for the latest incident, the Examiner reported. The Biden administration released ICE guidance in September 2021, limiting arrests to illegal immigrants posing national security threats, threats to public safety or threats to border security.
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