By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An 18-year-old alleged gang member was shot and killed on Christmas Eve, but federal officials say it could have been avoided if local authorities had followed the advice of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Despite an ICE detainer, Jose Herrera was let out of jail multiple times, only to be shot in the head on Christmas Eve.

Police arrested Herrera in October for squatting in an abandoned building reportedly used as a MS-13 safehouse.

ICE lodged a deportation detainer against the Honduran native, but the Montgomery County Detention Center knowingly chose to release him.

Herrera then failed to appear in court, which forced cops to rearrest him. But then on Dec. 22, Montgomery County let the teen walk out of jail again.

The MS-13 member was gunned down just two days later. Herrera was murdered outside a Silver Spring apartment building. A suspect has not yet been arrested.

ICE suggests the teen would still be alive if Montgomery County officials put public safety ahead of party politics.

The director of Montgomery County’s Department of Corrections claimed ICE’s detainer against Herrera: “did not meet our criteria and the individual was released.”

The county DOC further stated it was unaware of the undocumented immigrant’s affiliation with MS-13.

According to ICE, there are many local jurisdictions that work side-by-side with the federal agency, and cooperation saves money and keeps communities safe.

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