DHS Report Contradicts Chief’s Statements on Human Smuggling Case

DHS Report Contradicts Chief McManus Statement

Mike Helle
Email: pres@sapoa.org   Tel: 210.822.4428


DHS Report Contradicts Chief’s Statements on Human Smuggling Case

Already under investigation by the Attorney General, DHS report raises more questions about Chief’s actions in 2017 human smuggling case.

(San Antonio, TX, June 15, 2018) – A U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Investigative Report states that Chief McManus ignored a federal agent’s request for involvement in a December 2017 human smuggling investigation. The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) report shows that on December 23, 2017, the on-duty HSI Agent received notification from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that SAPD had encountered 12 suspected undocumented aliens in the rear of a tractor-trailer. After speaking by phone with an SAPD officer on scene, the HSI Agent made preparations to have the 12 suspects transported to the HSI Office. While en route to the scene, the HSI Agent was informed by SAPD that the suspects would be taken to SAPD HQ. The HSI Agent requested that the suspects be instead transported to the HSI Office and the on-scene SAPD Officer agreed. Upon arriving on-scene, the HSI Agent was advised that Chief McManus wanted to speak with him in private. The Chief informed the HSI Agent that SAPD would be taking the case under the state smuggling statute. The HSI Agent offered to help with the investigation but was told “No” by the Chief because he did not want the HSI Agents appearance and badge to “scare people.”

The HSI Agent then departed the scene and returned to SAPD HQ to await the suspects. After their arrival, the HSI Agent offered to help interview the suspects as SAPD only had one detective on duty that could speak Spanish. His request to assist was ignored. At this point, an HSI Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge called the agent and said that if SAPD did not require any assistance from him that he should depart. When the HSI Agent told an SAPD sergeant that he should contact ICE to have the suspects transported to the HSI Office to interview them and determine their immigration status, the sergeant showed the agent a text that was allegedly from Chief McManus ordering him to release all of them. (“Report states federal agent’s offer to help during smuggling investigation was ignored,” FoxSanAntonio.com, 06/12/18). The report concludes that the SAPD Officer told the HSI Agent that he had no choice but to follow the Chief’s orders. At approximately 4:30 p.m. the Officer contacted the HSI Agent to advise him that the suspects “were in fact released from SAPD custody and did not elaborate on their whereabouts.”

This DHS report directly contradicts the Chief’s public statements in January, in which he said federal agents could have arrested the immigrants after detectives finished their investigation and “the HSI agent was present at SAPD headquarters and was provided access to the 12 individuals. At no time did SAPD restrict or prevent the HSI agent from taking custody of the individuals.” This is not true according to the report, which clearly states the HSI Agent was not allowed access to the suspects. In a statement ICE said, “HSI did offer up its assistance and San Antonio Police Department declined to take our assistance, instead the chief elected to take the case.” (“Deadly smuggling case changed police policy,” Express-News, 06/12/18.)

“This is a damning report from Homeland Security,” said Mike Helle, president of SAPOA, “It shows that the Chief broke with standard procedure by denying DHS their investigatory role and then released the suspects into our city instead of turning them over to Homeland Security Investigations as is proper.”

Based on this report, SAPOA believes Chief McManus lied when he said, “at no time did SAPD restrict or prevent the HSI agent from taking custody of the individuals,” and we reiterate our demand that Chief McManus be placed on temporary leave or be reassigned as per SAPD policy (SAPD General Manual, Procedure 908 – Mandatory Reassignment).

View DHS Report


HSI Report on Dec. 23 Smuggling Incident by Maritza Nunez on Scribd

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  1. robert Reply

    The Chief serves at the pleasure of the city manager and The mayor of the city. The public had no vote on San Antonio being a santuary city . The Chief position is appointed position

  2. Stacie Rickel Reply

    McManus needs to be placed on admin leave without pay. Not only did he go against SAPD and HS policy, he lied to cover it up.
    Fire him and Sculley who helped him in the cover up.

  3. Marc Reply

    I want to look at this objectively and there is a human side to it. But ultimately the chief at his discretion went against the policies and the norm. He furthermore put San Antonio’s at risk by not properly vetting these immigrants. It’s a sad situation but we are a nation of laws and breaking them does not grant you rights or even special privileges. Chief McManus should step aside and do the right thing here. If you can’t serve the people of San Antonio don’t do the job. Just my opinion.

  4. Kathy Cockrell Reply

    McManus needs to resign or be fired with loss of benefits. He is an embarrassment to the city.

  5. Paula Spahn Reply

    The facts are apparent. McManus lied about the situation, putting San Antonian’s lives at risk. Police disciplinary policy should apply to him like any other SAPD member. This City has never voted on being a Sanctuary City. Who made that decision for me? Immediate investigation must be opened.

  6. Mindy Reply

    Chief McManus and Chief Hood make a fine pair. Maybe when you get to that level, for that long – you start to believe you are above the law.

  7. Stormy Reply

    Fired and jailed.

  8. Leti Reply

    The Cheif has a good heart….

  9. Sam Grsnato Reply

    There cannot be two set of facts. Somebody is lying.
    Bottom line I cannot support the actions of any chief who violated his own departments SOPs and law. How can you discipline officers for similar conduct? How can he testify in any court? He is a Brady Officer proven to have lied in an investigation. Does the city council approve of the Chief Lying?

  10. Jerry Miller Reply

    There have been officers in the past that have been fired over the “truthfulness” clause violations of the department General Manual. Once again we’re seeing a double standard.
    Chief’s motto: “Do as I say; not as I do”…

  11. Bob Schoeler Reply

    San Antonio has its own swamp starting at the top. McManus has an interesting track record if you care to check it out. As a city SA can do much better.

  12. Emiliano Zapata Reply

    The San Antonio Police Chief have an outstanding record in the entire area. He has done an outstanding work and is present at most dangerous cases or accidents 24 hrs a day, he is very popular with residents, however the president of the Police association is a declared enemy of his and City manager as a result of Contract problems/agreements and have been responsible for the creation of bad information not only in this case but also others. I am not a resident of San Antonio, but I wish we had a chief of police in our town as dedicated as he is. The Chieff is getting caught in Political presure by both State and Federal Governments to justify their abuse of the residents, both legal and ilegal in the entire area.

  13. Kathleen Riney Reply

    🔥Fast & Pray! 🔥
    OUT Those Who Create the Demand for Sex Traffickers, & use RICO to separate them from their money!

  14. Ron RubalcabA Reply

    Emiliano Zapata, we all know why you like him!

  15. Gary W. Rine Reply

    It’s time for SAPD Chief McManus to step down and City Council to explain themselves to the people who elected them . San Antonio should NOT be a Sanctuary City !

  16. Rebecca Flores Reply

    I believe Helle is listening to some very racist police officers in his so called Union who continue to pressure Helle to go against immigrants in whichever way he can. If police officers want to be able to be part of this community of San Antonio they need to not become ICE officers. Do you see what ICE is doing to parents and their children? I support McManus’ actions, he is a leader who has standards about what policing is all about, and it isn’t about creating a community of fear, which is what Helle wants to create in San Antonio.

    Instead of spending so much money on the billboards he has set up in our part of town, why doesn’t he create a training program for his police officers who immediately have a knee jerk reaction when they see anyone with a brown face. He might be the first one to register for his own class.

  17. Rebecca Flores Reply

    I do not support Helle’s campaign against McManus. I commented a few days back, and someone erased my comment. Do you only allow those comments that support Helle’s campaign or are you censoring.

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