ICE agents arrest brother of man they shot weeks ago in Denver

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DENVER -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested a Mexican national living in Montbello with his girlfriend, officials said Wednesday.

That man is the brother of another immigrant that ICE agents shot three weeks ago in Denver.

But the brothers aren’t the only ones behind bars. U.S. citizens say they’re getting caught up in the dragnet too.

Valerie Mendez, 58, was also in the Denver jail on an outstanding warrant.

When ICE agents came , looking for her boyfriend who is in the country illegally, it was the Denver Police Department that came in behind them to take her to jail.

"It doesn't make sense," said Mendez’s daughter-in-law Marisa Leal.

Nine armed ICE agents crept up to Mendez's apartment door at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

“It scared me. It honestly scared me,” Leal said.

By the time her family got there, all that was left were images of ICE agents on the family's surveillance video system -- and search warrant paperwork from the Department of Homeland Security.

“I don’t believe this is happening to a U.S. citizen -- a U.S citizen. She lives here. She was born here. Why is this happening?” Leal questioned.

Police arrested Mendez on an outstanding warrant for DUI. ICE officers were there for Mendez’s boyfriend, 34-year-old Edgar Santana-Arreola.

He’s the younger brother of Hector Santana-Arreola, who an ICE agent shot and grazed on the forehead on June 9 in Denver.

“The connection is they are both brothers, so they are targeting his family. That’s what I think it is. Now that they found out where Hector is, they are going after his brother and whoever lives with him,” Leal said.

But ICE said it arrested Santana-Arreola because he had re-entered the U.S. twice after deportation in February and April 2008.

ICE said it's a felony for anyone to re-enter after being deported, and is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.

ICE also said Santana-Arreola had a 2008 misdemeanor conviction in Denver County Court for which he was sentenced to 150 days in jail. . ICE did not say what that conviction was for.

Mendez remained in jail on $1,500 bond.

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