Santos Courtesy 2

Roxana Orellana Santos, who was awarded $100,000 recently, sits with her family at a press conference in February 2019.

A woman who sued the Frederick County Sheriff's office and county for a wrongful arrest and civil rights violations has settled with both parties through an insurance company for $100,000.

The corresponding case began more than a decade ago, when Roxana Orellana Santos was working as a dishwasher at Common Market in Frederick. During her lunch break, two sheriff's deputies approached her.

Santos showed the deputies an identification card from her homeland of El Salvador. When sheriff's deputies looked up possible warrants for her, they found a ruling from a San Antonio immigration court, which ordered her deported in absentia during a 2006 hearing. The deputies then arrested her.

That arrest happened in October 2008. U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) officials then detained Santos for more than a month, separating her from her children.

Since then, Santos has spent much of her time reporting to the Baltimore immigration agency, while seeking more than $1 million in damages from the sheriff's office and county, with the help of local immigration advocates and attorneys.

After months of negotiations, the $100,000 settlement was reached in early May, County Attorney Bryon Black told The News-Post. 

According to recent federal court filings, the case was then dismissed with prejudice, meaning Santos cannot bring back any charges she initially filed against the sheriff's office and county.

Santos and her attorneys argued in federal court the sheriff's deputies did not have probable cause to arrest her, and were not properly trained under the federal 287(g) program, The Frederick News-Post previously reported.

The 287(g) program is an agreement between the sheriff's office and ICE, allowing trained deputies to check the immigration status of those booked in the county jail, and begin deportation proceedings if necessary. The sheriff's office had first entered that agreement with ICE about six months before Santos' arrest.

Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said in a phone call Wednesday that his deputies' arrest was not through the 287(g) program, since the warrant was from a previous proceeding in Texas and the deputies did not check Santos' immigration status from the county's detention center.

Deputies only noticed Santos during her lunch break in 2008 because she got up and started to run away when she saw them, Jenkins said Wednesday. He also believes many of the immigration law arguments by Santos' attorneys in court did not actually become law until after that arrest.

"When someone gets up and runs away from a police officer, they [the officers] assume something was wrong … that’s what law enforcement does," Jenkins said. "I bet you every dollar that I got … that if she hadn’t gotten up and run, she wouldn’t have gotten the attention of them."

However, Jose Perez, one of Santos' attorneys, said in an email Wednesday that Santos did not try to run away from the deputies. She testified to that previously during a deposition after she was arrested. Perez said Santos did not see the deputies until they exited their vehicle and surrounded her.

"The deputies’ claims were further controverted by the sworn deposition testimony of an independent third-party witness — a Common Market manager who saw the deputies driving up to where Roxana was sitting with her back to them," Perez wrote in an email Wednesday.

Perez added that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in 2013 the sheriff's deputies violated Santos' Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights, arresting her illegally by using that civil non-criminal immigration warrant from San Antonio.

"This is a national important civil rights precedent barring local police and law enforcement from arresting someone based solely upon an immigration warrant, which are non-judicial administrative warrants, that has since been subsequently cited by many other courts, and law enforcement agencies," Perez wrote.

He also pointed to a federal court ruling from September 2018, where U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake found Jenkins liable as a policymaker for the county, and ruled in favor of Santos.

Those federal court rulings and the settlement also led to the sheriff's office changing two policies, Perez said: sheriff's deputies cannot detain or arrest individuals because of a civil immigration warrant, and training is required so deputies understand that.

Perez said the second policy change was sheriff's deputies are prohibited "from targeting individuals based on perceived immigration status ... [and] are also prohibited from inquiring about a person’s immigration status." That includes during traffic stops, searches, arrests, investigations and other law enforcement actions, he said.

In addition to the $100,000, Perez said Santos' attorneys also received $500,000 as part of the settlement. 

Black said the settlement was handled in part by attorney Dan Karp, located in Baltimore. Karp helps the county through its insurance policies, Black said.

A receptionist at Karp's law firm declined comment when contacted by phone this week.

Chief Administrative Officer Rick Harcum said the settlement money would come from one of the county's insurance programs. 

"We always have specialized attorneys for special needs," Harcum said. "This was kind of beyond the scope of what our county attorney staff would handle ... whenever a case becomes this complicated, that means we would outsource it."

He added many of the county's insurance programs are complex, due to the massive exposure and liability aspects involved. It's budgeted each fiscal year as an insurance premium, but it is not a direct line item in the county budget, he said.

Erin White, the county's deputy director of finance, said the county had a law enforcement liability policy with Scottsdale Insurance in 2008, which had a $5 million limit and a $50,000 deductible. White said the county paid the policy's $50,000 deductible by September 2016, and Scottsdale was rebranded earlier that year as Nationwide Insurance.

During fiscal year 2009, which covered the time period of Santos' arrest, the county paid $218,545 for its law enforcement liability premium, White said.

"We are billed as the claim develops until the deductible is reached and the insurance company pays the remainder to the policy limit," White wrote in an email. 

"The premium is an annual cost," White added. "The legal expenses are billed as the claim develops. The insurance premium and legal expenses for a claim are two different things."

Black and Harcum said like in a car accident, a homeowner's claim or other instances, it's the insurance company "making the payout." Black and White said Nationwide is paying the full $100,000.

Black added that since both sides have reached a settlement and the case was dismissed, it should be considered closed.

"I’m just always happy when both parties find a way to come to an agreeable conclusion, and I think that was what happened in this case," Harcum said.

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(80) comments

KellyAlzan

72 comments.

As myself and other intelligent people have said: don't like the outcome? then vote in an educated person to be sherf,

You hire a fool. This is what you get!

I cant stand a racist sherf.

C.D.Reid

And I can't stand someone who supports illegal aliens.

threecents

Kelly[thumbup]!

TomWheatley

Meant to say makes sense, not correct. Really wish the FNP would allow some editing within a few minutes of posting.

TomWheatley

Open question and please stay on topic: Does our Constitution provide 4th Amendment (or any other protection) for anyone who sets foot on our shores? Like a tourist on a stopover at an US airport, coming off a cruise line in the US Virgin Islands, a student on a legit visa, or an illegal immigrant awaiting deportation? In short, does the phrase " violated Santos' Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights" correct?

shiftless88

When a person in the the US they have all the Constitutional rights as anyone else in the country, AFAIK.

C.D.Reid

No, they do not. The right to vote is but one example.

public-redux

The 4A says “people” and not “citizens” so the answer to your question is “yes”. Some constitutional protects are reserved to citizens; most aren’t. After all, the constitution is mostly about restricting governmental powers.

shiftless88

Yet another payout under Chuckles. How many is that now?

gabrielshorn2013

"Black and White said Nationwide is paying the full $100,000.

Apparently none for this claim shiftless. Insurance is handling it, just like any other insurance claim.

shiftless88

Hey Gabe; what happens to insurance premiums when they are forced to pay out on your behalf? Should I give you a hint?

gabrielshorn2013

It all depends on the policy shiftless, but I know where you are going. Is our police insurance rate out of line with others? Assuming a normal distribution, where are we on that curve? Around the mean? +/- 1sd? 2sd?

DickD

Way too many.

KellyAlzan

[thumbup][thumbup]. Shift

Lemmy

A drop in the bucket to keep us from being Montgomery County. Love the Sheriff.

C.D.Reid

YES!!!!! [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

phydeaux994

Too late Lemmy, you lost that chance 20 years ago. Look around. CE and majority CC Dems. See any new Developments?? Visit Urbana?? Democrats outnumber Republicans in the County. “Libs” outnumber “Cons” right here on the FNP Opinion Forum. The de facto MoCo Line has moved North of the City, about at Devilbiss Road now I’d say. Better hurry to build the WALL.

An omission in wrongdoings, a total cost adding up to over $800,000. Most of it going to court cost and lawyers. The wronged party walks away with a stipend. Justice.🙄 What’s wrong with this picture?

Dwasserba

"Black and White said Nationwide is paying the full $100,000." I read this twice. Enjoyed it both times.

FrederickFan

Why did this case take twelve years to resolve?

sevenstones1000

“When someone gets up and runs away from a police officer, they [the officers] assume something was wrong … that’s what law enforcement does," Jenkins said

The ignorance and hatefulness of that man knows no bounds.

ebr1024

Even worse that his deputies were speaking a lie:

"The deputies’ claims were further controverted by the sworn deposition testimony of an independent third-party witness — a Common Market manager who saw the deputies driving up to where Roxana was sitting with her back to them," Perez wrote in an email Wednesday.

gabrielshorn2013

Not necessarily ebr. At best we have two differing accounts of what happened. Either party could be wrong, and neither statement could be used to establish fact without further corroborating evidence. Are the deputies claiming she ran to hide a bad arrest? Is the Common Market manager lying in an attempt to shield his company (or him) from prosecution for illegally hiring an illegal alien? Therefore, at best, the statements cancel each other out. I'm still wondering if legal action was taken against Common Market for hiring an illegal alien, and if not, why not?

phydeaux994

Legal action is never taken against Employers gab. Why not? “When the widening coronavirus pandemic shut down entire cities, more than 20 million lost their jobs, and millions more were forced to work from home.

But in farms across America, armies of immigrant farmworkers never stopped. Their work was deemed essential, too critical to be halted during the crisis.

Kneeling on damp soil and fighting the heat, as many as 2.7 million laborers, more than half born outside the United States, are the lifeline of our food security.”

gabrielshorn2013

While your post may be factual phy, it is irrelevant and tangential to this case. Ms. Santos case started long before the pandemic, and she was a dishwasher, nota farmworker. Nonetheless, as a US employer, Common Market was to have Ms. Santos complete an I-9 form verifying that she was legally allowed to work in the US. She also had to provide several forms of identification at that time. The employer is required to verify that information at the time of hire. Did they do their due diligence and then hire Ms. Santos? Or did they just toss the form in a drawer? Did Ms. Santos complete the form, and then use fraudulently obtained forms of ID to support her I-9? From the UCIS.gov website (https://www.uscis.gov/i-9):

”Use Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must properly complete Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form.

On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present his or her employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form. Employers must retain Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers.”

Misrepresenting the facts by providing fraudulent documents is a crime.

New section 274C makes it unlawful for a person or entity knowingly to:

--forge, counterfeit, alter or falsely make any document;

--use, attempt to use, possess, obtain, accept or receive any forged, counterfeit, altered or falsely made document;

--use or attempt to use any document lawfully issued to a person other than the possessor (including a deceased individual);

for the purpose of or in order to satisfy any requirement of the INA. INA 274C(a)(1) through (3),8 U.S.C. 1324c(a)(1) through (3). It is also unlawful knowingly to accept or receive any document lawfully issued to a person other than the possessor (including a deceased individual) for the purpose of complying with section 274A(b) of the Act. Id. 274C(a)(4), 8 U.S.C. 1324c(a)(4). As noted above, employment, as contracted with employment authorization, is not a benefit under the INA. Attesting to one's citizenship or immigration status and presenting evidence of identity and employment authorization, however, are requirements of the INA. Id. 274A(b)(2), 8 U.S.C. 1324a(b)(2). Thus, civil penalties under section 274C may be assessed against those employees who falsely complete Forms I-9 fraudulent documents in connection with the Forms I-9. Id. 274C(a) and (d)(3), 6 U.S.C. 1324c(a) and (d)(3). The penalties include a monetary fine, as well as a "cease and desist" order. Id. The civil penalties are in addition to any criminal penalties imposed in Title 18, United States Code. Id. 274C(c), 8 U.S.C. 1324c(c).

The 1990 Act imposes an additional sanction on alien violators of section 274C. Effective June 1, 1991, an alien subject to a final order under section 274C would also be ineligible for admission to the United States, and for adjustment of status. See id., 601(a) (amending INA 212(a)(6)(F) and (e) (establishing effective date), 104 Stat. at 5067,5074 and 5077.

https://www.aila.org/infonet/ins-memo-on-misrepresentations-on-form-i-9

So, somebody, either Ms. Santos or Common Market, or both, violated the law when Ms. Santos was hired. Common Market could probably weasel out of it claiming “she used falsified documents”, leaving Ms. Santos on the hook for jail time, fines, and deportation.

DickD

You forgot one thing, Gabe, their were witnesses that backed up Santos, no one backed up the Sheriff's words.

gabrielshorn2013

Dick, There was one witness for Santos, the store manager. There were two officers. It was not the Sheriff Dick, it was two deputies who checked on an outstanding warrant, and they found one. Does one civilian's word overrule the word of two officers? Do you dispute those facts? If so, why?

Nicki

[thumbup]. Phy!

phydeaux994

If their papers look authentic, Employers can accept them at face value. They are not required to be counterfeit experts. Ask Kelly, she’s the expert. Tell me the last time you heard of an Employer arrested and prosecuted. Even the big Companies get off the hook. You think the Gummint is gonna shut down a meat packing plant or a farm?

gabrielshorn2013

No kidding phy, and that was I was alluding to in my earlier posts. If someone provides realistic fraudulent documents, the employer is off the hook. However, not the illegally hired employee. See the previous post regarding the I-9 form and the law.

DickD

He is a Trump fan!

gabrielshorn2013

And there it is, TDS with the TT sequelae. Off topic, and who are you referring to dick?

DickD

The Sheriff, Gabe, he went to the White House

DickD

Where in the article does it state deputies claim Santos got up and ran? There were two deputies, I don't see where they went on the stand and gave sworn testimony. .I just see the Sheriff's unsworn word that Santos got up and ran ..Please point that out to me, Gabe.

DickD

The case may be closed for legal purposes but not for instance costs and politics.

gabrielshorn2013

Just for politics, Dick. All but $50K was paid by insurance. While $50K is nothing to sneeze at, it is far from the amount we were assured over and over that was paid out. Remember, any time you or I get stopped the officer runs an outstanding warrant search, and if found, we are arrested on the spot.

DickD

Does it matter who pays. You pay insurance and that averages out your costs. The higher your risks, the higher your insurance, nothing new there Gabe.

DickD

So, you copied the law, so what? If you think restaurant owners follow all the laws to get low paid workers I can only wonder what you have been smoking. I know one young high school young man that was working for $9.75 to wash dishes, they promoted him to salad bar and gave him a whopping $10. And that was one of the better restaurants. They are cheap, except on their prices.

gabrielshorn2013

What are you going on about now dick? Salaries? That is not what the law was about. Are you now claiming that it is OK to violate Federal Law to get cheap labor? Should those employers not be prosecuted for violating those laws? If no, please explain why not. This was not a restaurant dick, it was a grocery store with a cafe. Restaurants are exempted BTW, and you forgot to mention wait staff who make even less per hour than dishwashers, before tips.

DickD

I am not saying that it is okay to hire illegals, don't twist my words, Gabe. While we are at it why do you not mention the manager who hired an illegal. Has the Sheriff or any of his deputies arrested any of them.

phydeaux994

Every day gab, go to Home Depot on W. Patrick and watch the contractors and the home owners on the weekends pick up the day laborers they need for the day. Pay them cash and send them home. No papers checked, no I9’s, and no Federal Agents arresting anybody. The Feds know that without these workers our economy would fold. They’ve been looking the other way for decades. Don’t ask, don’t tell.

gabrielshorn2013

Um...dick...please see my other posts here. I did call them out and wondered why they were not charged.

gabrielshorn2013

Phy, and as you are aware, working "under the table" is a form of tax evasion if the wages are not declared and taxes paid. However, again we stray from the case in the story. Ms. Santos was not a day laborer. She was a dishwasher in a grocery store with a cafe. Quite a difference. Who broke employment and immigration law, Ms. Santos? Common Market? Both?

phydeaux994

I concede gab, you are right. There were some Employers arrested in 2019.

May 31, 2019

LOS ANGELES — The Trump administration’s crackdown on unauthorized immigration has resulted in the prosecution of tens of thousands of people entering the country illegally. But new data suggests that the government has not prioritized the prosecution of employers, whose jobs represent the biggest lure for those crossing the southern border to reach the United States.

In the 12 months that ended in March, more than 112,000 people were prosecuted for illegal entry or re-entry, while just 11 employers faced criminal charges for hiring undocumented workers, according to analysis of government data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, at Syracuse University.

“Not only are few employers prosecuted, fewer who are convicted receive sentences that amount to more than token punishment,” TRAC said in a statement.

Of the 11 people convicted during the 12-month period, only three served prison time despite Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s stated mission: “ICE’s worksite enforcement strategy focuses on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers.”

KellyAlzan

We've gone through this employer discussion over and over on here.

Why bring something up if you're not listening?

To go after any employer the burden of proof rests with the accuser.

This means, the gov't would have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that an employer knowingly hired someone not authorized to work. Very difficult to prove. Keep in mind, (as I have written on here at least 10 times), that a police dept in the north west unknowingly hired an illegal immigrant as a police officer, yes, a gun and badge.

And the response "well that's what e-verify if for". WRONG! E-verify is only as accurate as the applicant is honest.

KellyAlzan

Phy (and others):

I assure you that NOT all the immigtants at Home Depot on Patrick street are illegal. I ASSURE YOU. A few of them ARE legal, and have full time jobs, and on weekends and such they go to HD to keep themselves busy.

I am not posting theory or speculation. Take my sharing and knowledge for what its worth.

phydeaux994

I bow to your knowledge on this subject Kelly. No all at Home Depot are illegal. Got it!!

jloo

$100,000 will go a long way once she is living back in El Salvador. I know, I used to live there.

armillary

Why would she want to go back there?

bosco

Is she here legally?[ninja]

jerseygrl42

NO; break the law and get rewarded...isn't it grand

Hayduke2

Aww, jeresey is back to her old handle...

DickD

100 grand, jersey. Where have you been - to Mexico on vacation?

bosco

I wonder if that immigration court issue has been settled yet?[ninja]

C.D.Reid

Time to deport her on out with her lottery winnings.

DickD

All they need to do is go down to Home Depot and round them up, if that is their objective.

gabrielshorn2013

You cannot "round them up at Home Depot", dick. That would be illegal because being an illegal alien in and of itself is not an arrestable offense. But you know that.

DickD

Not any different from what they tried to do to Santos, Gabe. Yes, illegals work for a.lot of employers in Fred County. Nothing is being done to the obvious and they picked on Santos because she ran, per the Sheriff. Are you or the Sheriff trying to say sit still and we will not bother you? .

DickD

Didn't one judge criticize the Sheriff for lack of training Gabe. Maybe you should send a copy of the law to the Sheriff.

gabrielshorn2013

Re: Santos running. Come on Dick, if you try to hide or run from the police, don't you think that raises suspicion and justifies the officers questioning you? You over simplify the situation. You don't have to sit still, but if you act suspicious, you call attention to yourself. The problem is that employers can illegally hire people who are not legally able to work here, with impunity. No penalty, no deterrent, and the exploitation continues. The thing is Common Market got away with it.

Re: training. You do realize that this happened 12 years ago , dick? The Sheriff's office hasn't participated in that portion of the 287g program in over a decade, and the deputies know that an outstanding immigration warrant is not sufficient ta arrest someone. However, had they been arrested on another charge, the outstanding warrant is enough to call ICE.

timberman

Again the Attorneys get rich on the back of the taxpayers. The plaintiff not so much, let’s think about that for a moment

armillary

There would be no lawsuit, and no award, if the deputies and their boss knew the law.

jerseygrl42

guess you have a problem understanding the meaning of ILLEGAL...

DickD

Do you have a problem understanding the limitations of 287 (g), jersey?

KellyAlzan

$600k paid between Santos and her atty. plus the county had to pay deductibles.

Trumpkins, a sheriff with no education, a liability.

C.D.Reid

So, she ended up getting $100k. And HOW many times did you post here that the sheriff made a "millionaire" out if that illegal alien? Lesson learned: don't listen to Plumbum. [lol][lol][lol][lol][lol]

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup]

bosco

[lol][thumbup]

DickD

How many years would it take for a dishwasher to make $100,000 with no taxes or Social Security taken out?

gabrielshorn2013

4 years and 9 months @ $10.10 per hour. Can she worh here legally, or was Common Market employing her illegally?

sevenstones1000

What does that matter, Dick? Seriously, what does that matter.

Dwasserba

Never. Dishwasher is entry level.

DickD

Gabe, at $10/hr, on a 40 hour work week,. she wouild make $20,800 per year. After taxes and Social Security she probably would have taken home around $14,000 per year. So, that would equate to about 7 years of earnings and she still could have worked.

As far as being illegal and working, she always was, nothing new in that - unless you want to wash dishes at that paltry wage.

gabrielshorn2013

Oy! Dick, please reread the question you posted: "How many years would it take for a dishwasher to make $100,000 with no taxes or Social Security taken out?

I answered the exact question you posed. Now with a tax hit of about 30%, she would need to work 6.8 years. As to the rest of your comment, it is irrelevant. She was not entitled to work here for $100/hour or $0.01/hour. The fact that she was working at all was illegal. So either she, or Common Market violated the law. Pick one. If Common Market were charged as such, how long do you think it would take for them to throw her under the bus and say she provided fraudulent documents (a crime in itself. See above).

DickD

You know what, I worded the pay question wrong

My bad

Dwasserba

To be fair: "... Santos has spent much of her time reporting to the Baltimore immigration agency, while seeking more than $1 million in damages..." We did not know the actual settlement. The attorneys got half a mil. That's a lesson to note.

phydeaux994

She got $100,000, the Lawyers $500,000, = $600,000. That rounds up to $1,000,000, close enough CD. 😷✌️

C.D.Reid

Close enough to what, fido? Kelly kept saying over and over and over and over and over again that the sheriff made Santos a "millionaire." $100K is a far cry from $1+M. A FAR cry.

phydeaux994

I remember that Kelly was wrong one other time CD. Nobody’s perfect. How’re things in Thurmont these days? My wife and I are coming up that way to pick blueberries at Pryor’s Orchard next week. Maybe we’ll see you there.

C.D.Reid

Correction: "of."

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