Federal judge orders ICE detainee released from Butler County Jail

Posted at 9:50 AM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 12:12:39-04

A federal judge has released a detainee from the Butler County Jail after an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement because of coronavirus risks.

U.S. District Court Judge Sarah D. Morrison ordered Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones to release Adenis Enrique Prieto Refunjol on Monday because he has health issues and there is a positive case of the coronavirus at the jail. The ACLU sued ICE on Friday on behalf of three inmates at the Butler and Morrow county jails, according to the Journal News.

“It is well documented that COVID-19 has terrorized the world with many dying and many growing severely ill. The most vulnerable among us have borne the brunt of this disease, including those with underlying medical conditions,” Morrison wrote. “Petitioners all have underlying medical conditions that place them in the group who is most at risk of serious consequences from infection.”

Refunjol has been detained at the jail since November and suffers from hypertension and asthma. Morrison noted Refunjol has a “minimal, nonviolent” criminal history.

The judge ruled he must be quarantined for 14 days and is not allowed to leave the state.

During his weekly press conference with Butler County Health Commissioner Jenny Bailer, Jones said his jail is safe.

“They (the ACLU) were talking about that my jail may not be the safest place to come to or the cleanest place and he has underlying medical issues…,” Jones said, noting almost all of the inmates have underlying health issues because of poor habits. “I can assure you that my jail is one of the cleanest places you’ll ever be, even before the pandemic hit… If you want to not catch the virus you want to come to my jail.”