Immigration & BorderLocal NewsSuspect Charged in Murder of Harris County Officer Was in the U.S. Illegally, per ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has confirmed that Jose Oscar Rosales had entered the U.S. illegally.
January 27, 2022
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The man apprehended and charged with capital murder in the brutal shooting of Harris County Constable Corporal Charles Galloway was a citizen of El Salvador and in the country illegally.

Following a three-day manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force collaborated with Mexican authorities to arrest Oscar Rosales in Ciudad Acuna, across the border from Del Rio, Texas. From there, Rosales was transported back to Houston Wednesday evening.

In a statement to The Texan, a spokesperson with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that immigration officials had lodged a detainer for Rosales with the Val Verde County Detention Center in Del Rio following the arrest.

“Rosales previously illegally entered the U.S. on an unknown date and at an unknown location without inspection or parole by U.S. immigration officials and later fled to Mexico after allegedly murdering a Harris County (Texas) Constables Office deputy.”

During a probable cause hearing Wednesday night, an assistant district attorney noted that Rosales was on deferred adjudication for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon from December 10, 1995, and that a motion to adjudicate was filed in June of 1996.

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ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Houston Field Office also lodged immigration detainers with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office on Rosales’ common law wife, Reina Azucena Pereira Marquez, and her brother, Henri Mauricio Pereira Marquez, after the two were arrested by Houston police for allegedly tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair.

According to county records, detectives learned from a body-worn camera and in-car dash footage that Galloway had pulled over a white Toyota Avalon at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 23. The driver, allegedly Rosales, then exited his vehicle and fired multiple shots with a rifle at Galloway before fleeing in his vehicle. 

Galloway was pronounced dead at the scene and the medical examiner later determined that the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the left side of his face.

Multiple law enforcement agencies launched a manhunt for Rosales, and Houston Police Chief Troy Finner noted that the search would include communities along the Texas border with Mexico.

After his apprehension in Mexico, Rosales was transferred and booked into the Harris County jail Wednesday and the district attorney’s office requested that he be held without bail.

The Harris County Public Defender’s Office is representing the Marquez siblings. While the public defender’s representative had requested a personal bond of $2,500, bond has been set at $100,000 each, but if released they can be taken into federal custody due to the ICE immigration detainers. 

Harris County provides indigent defendants with legal defense through the public defender’s office, and also offers legal services to illegal immigrants residing in the county who are facing deportation.  

Galloway is the ninth law enforcement officer to be murdered in Harris County since 2019. 

Update: Rosales has also gone by the name of Aguilar Maricide Albarenga, and under that name had a felony charge for aggravated assault with a knife in 1995. The court gave him deferred adjudication, but he absconded in 1996. During a press conference Thursday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Rosales/Albarenga may have gang ties and is wanted for a murder in El Salvador.

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Holly Hansen

Holly Hansen is a freelance writer living in Harris County. Her former column, “All In Perspective” ran in The Georgetown Advocate, Jarrell Star Ledger, and The Hill Country News, and she has contributed to a variety of Texas digital media outlets. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida with a degree in History, and in addition to writing about politics and policy, also writes about faith and culture.

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