DREAMer and DACA-Applicant Octavio Castaneda Flores Free After Eight Months Nonbondable in Maricopa County Jail

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Octavio Flores with members of his family, hours after being released

The first time I met Octavio Castaneda Flores, he was in county stripes, his hands cuffed to a desk where he sat in the visiting room of Durango Jail.

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It was January, and already he had spent four months in stir, nonbondable on eight class four felonies involving forgery and ID theft.

Octavio, now 28, would spend four more months in jail, before he was finally released this week, after the prosecutor in the case moved to dismiss all remaining charges.

Wednesday, I saw him as a free man, surrounded by his children, his wife Brenda, and their newborn Michael.

He had missed the birth of his youngest son. Nevertheless, he was all smiles.

"It feels great to have my family back," he told me, as Michael slept the sleep of the innocent in Brenda's arms. "I can't explain it. I don't have the words to explain it."

Brenda visited him regularly during the more than eight months he was in jail, but she didn't tell the children the truth. The young couple didn't want the kids to see their father handcuffed and in stripes or think him a criminal.

Octavio talked to the kids via phone, and Brenda told them their dad was away, on a job out of state. Meanwhile, she struggled through the situation as best she could, relying on her family for help.

"It was very hard going through labor and doing all that without him," she said. "In the past, I've always had him to be there to help me out with the whole process."

The baby was born May 30. She took Michael with her to visit Octavio in jail a couple of days later.

"I had just gotten out of the hospital," she explained, her voice weary. "But I really wanted him to see the baby. So I took him."

Octavio's case was featured in my February cover story on a discriminatory legal mechanism that lands undocumented workers like him in jail, jacked up on forgery charges.

Under a constitutional amendment passed by Arizona voters in 2006, those presumed to be guilty of a class four felony or above and presumed to be in the country illegally are denied bail.

So if the Maricopa County Attorney's Office hits an undocumented person with a class four felony charge -- or as is usually the case, multiple class four felony charges -- for working with a false Social Security Number or identity, that individual has two choices.

He or she can stick it out in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's gulags, sometimes for as long as eight or nine months, awaiting trial; or plead guilty to a felony that will likely make them removable from the United States once they are turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


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6 comments
MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967

Good for him.

Maybe he'll sue the DES, MCSO, MCAO, and score a taxpayer-funded settlement.

robert_graham
robert_graham

Oh how cute -- look at all those little anchor-babies. Are people supposed to feel sympathy for him and his family? We don't!  How come there's never articles about white men and women with kids who get locked up and separated from their families??  Well??????  It seems that YOU are the real racists because all you seem to really care about is Hispanics.

IdontRecall
IdontRecall

@JAFFYDUCK, U R AN ANCHOR BITCH, Have U found UR "Illegal" daddy yet? I don't know if what I heard could be true, but word is that UR mom might've been plugged with an 'Illegal's" dick, probably when She used to go tricking , thing is that She didn't get paid, to make things worse She got impregnated and U R the result of that Love making. Perhaps that's the reason that U hate so much the "Illegals", although, could be more siniester; that U want to follow on UR mom's footsteps and try to get "plugged" by UR "Illegal" daddy, but since U R so fucking ugly, no "Illegal" would do it, thus beign the motive of that hate. COULD THAT BE THE REASON JAFFYDUCK.

Dontbelieveit
Dontbelieveit

@JoeArpaioFan Care about Hispanics .HELL yes how about caring about the human race (something you know NOTHING about) .Hell if I had a dime for every time I was called spic ,chili pepper or taco bender or wetback I'd be a rich man,I've heard them all and there is nothing that you can say that hasn't been said before .Accept it your a RACIST just like joker joe.All you can ever talk about is illegals anchor baby's and the raids YOU NEVER HAVE ANYTHING to do with .Your hatred goes far beyond racism It's an obsession with you just like your obsessed with sucking your pappy's dick. Your hate will consume you and your children You don't even deserve to breath the same air as REAL humans . You and your inbred cuzzins come down from the hills trying to change the atmosphere to pre civil war days ..What happened to you when you were younger ?.......Did a Mexican take away your Binkie..........Awwwwwwwwwwwwww poor baby

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967

@JoeArpaioFan 

It takes a special breed of person to pick on children using that term. It should be noted that the case that granted those children (and you) birthright citizenship was brought by the American-born son of Chinese immigrants. Wong Kim Ark vs. United States has stood since 1898, when a U.S. Supreme Court stacked with Republican justices interpreted the 14th Amendment correctly. BTW, the current U.S. Supreme Court, considered to be the most conservative since the Taft Administration, has refused to take a second look at the ruling.  

You really are a no class degenerate.

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