A local immigration advocate will be extradited to Georgia to face a felony charge of violating probation in a marijuana case.
Enrique Perez-Orozco was arrested Sunday at Fort Lewis College. As he appeared Friday before La Plata County Judge William Herringer, his attorney asked that Perez-Orozco be released on bond so he could turn himself in to authorities in Georgia.
Herringer said that wasn’t possible: Perez-Orozco signed a probation agreement stating that if he violated the terms of his probation, he was to be sent immediately to Georgia.
“This is something between Mr. Perez and the state of Georgia,” Herringer said. “I have no discretion here.”
Perez-Orozco was arrested at least twice in Georgia, in 2013 and 2015, regarding the possession of and intent to sell marijuana. He was on probation for those charges when, authorities said, he was hit with other drug-related charges in Kansas.
The 34-year-old is a vocal and active advocate for immigration rights and has organized protests of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement outside the La Plata County Courthouse and at the ICE headquarters in Bodo Industrial Park.
Friends and supporters of Perez-Orozco packed the courtroom Friday.
One such supporter, Jeanne Costello, said there’s “no doubt” Perez-Orozco was targeted by authorities in retaliation for his vocal criticism and demonstrations of ICE’s immigration practices. She surmised authorities found a technicality in his probation terms in order to have him arrested and sent to Georgia.
“He is a good person who has worked hard for our community,” she said. “He has stood for countless members of our community. We need to stand behind him now.”
The Durango Police Department was the agency that arrested Perez-Orozco. Calls to Cmdr. Ray Shupe were not immediately returned Friday afternoon.
It’s unclear when Perez-Orozco will be returned to Georgia.