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March 01, 2024 | In The News

Steube demands DHS info on rape suspect

SUN PORT CHARLOTTE — A local case has grabbed the attention of U.S. Rep. Greg Steube.

Steube’s office announced the area’s congressman sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security “demanding information” on Santo Felix Cruz-Ramos.

Cruz-Ramos, 25, was arrested by the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday on a charge of sexual battery out of Englewood.

Deputies allege Cruz-Ramos raped a woman after she invited him to her hotel room for drinks, and he was seen on surveillance footage entering and leaving her room.

According to a news release from CCSO — cited by Steube’s announcement — he told deputies he was staying in the United States illegally.

Steube blamed President Joe Biden and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for allowing “the world’s criminals” into the country.

“The Biden administration must answer for when this criminal illegal was released into the interior of the United States and what was known about him,” Steube stated in the news release. “Floridians deserve better.”

Charlotte County is part of Florida’s 17th Congressional District, which Steube represents.

The letter from Steube’s office to DHS has requested information on Cruz-Ramos’ immigration status and history, including possible detainers sent by Immigration and Customs Enforcement  and interactions with Customs and Border Protection.

Steube was listed as a co-sponsor on the bill to impeach Mayorkas in February. The vote passed the House of Representatives by a 214-214 margin, with three Republicans voting against the measure along with all Democrats.

Steube also cited two other cases of undocumented immigrants being charged with felonies: Jose Antonio Ibarra, suspected of killing college student Laken Riley on the University of Georgia campus last month, and Nilson Granados-Trejo, who was charged with the homicide of a 2-year-old in Maryland.

Cruz-Ramos, meanwhile, remains incarcerated at Charlotte County Jail on $500,000 bond. His arraignment is scheduled for April 8.