Suspect in Union Station swastika graffiti incident is illegal immigrant with long rap sheet, report

Despite having been deported on two separate occasions, ICE is not currently moving to place Geraldo Pando in federal custody.

Updated: February 3, 2022 - 12:57pm

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The man charged in connection with the recent defacing of the exterior of Union Station, in Washington, D.C., with swastika graffiti is reportedly an illegal immigrant from Mexico with a decade-and-a-half-long criminal history.

The person arrested and charged last week in connection with the incident has been identified by police as 34-year-old Geraldo Pando, whom authorities said at the time was perhaps homeless and suffering from mental-health issues.  

The Washington Examiner reported Wednesday that Pando has a 35-page criminal history from his time in Colorado, where he apparently lived before coming to the District of Columbia.

He was deported twice before but does not currently meet the standards of the Biden administration for deportation, the Examiner also reports. 

Pando was arrested Friday in connection with defacing the historic train station with Nazi symbols one day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Law enforcement officers are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

Following his arrest for vandalizing the Capitol Hill area station, Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not attempt to take him into custody. He is not, for the moment, facing deportation, despite also reportedly being recently for vandalizing the U.S. Capitol Police headquarters. 

Capitol Police reportedly released Pando following his arrest because ICE did not request that he be detained pending transfer into federal custody. 

Pando's extensive rap sheet includes charges of felony drug possession, driving without a license, trespassing with intent to commit a crime, assault, and possession of drug paraphernalia, among other things, the Examiner also reports. 

ICE has not moved to take Pando into custody following this most recent D.C. crime spree. 

In early 2021, the Biden administration introduced new guidelines for arresting illegal immigrants. Only those who are viewed as national security threats, entered the country after November 1, 2021, or were convicted of certain types of felonies or associated with a gang may be arrested. Under such guidelines, Pando does not qualify for deportation.

This administration's rules, which Health and Human Services Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas further amended so that arrests can be decided on a case-by-case basis to avoid discrimination, differ from those of the Trump administration, under which ICE officials were told to arrest any illegal immigrant they encountered.