Illegal immigrant suspected of raping 92-year-old woman sheds light on growing problem

TELLICO PLAINS, Tenn. (WVLT) -- It's a crime that shocked the community, and East Tennessee -- The rape of a 92-year-old Tellico Plains woman.

Now, police say there's a suspect, but he may be hiding south of the border -- a place where tracking down a criminal can be tough.

But it may be just as tough naming them as suspects when they're living here illegally.

It's not just Monroe County, police in all of East Tennessee's counties are dealing with the same problem, tracking down suspects who are here illegally.

It's costing them more time and it's costing you more money.

More and more illegal immigrants are finding their way to Monroe County. But the sheriff says when an illegal is accused of a crime, finding him is often much tougher.

Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens says, "We run into folks that have got two or three different IDs. Determining who they are and things like that is a problem."

Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens says cases like the rape that the Tellico Plains Police are investigating illustrate the problem. Police say 35-year-old Francisco Barbosa, who also goes by the name Francisco Sanchez, kicked in a 92-year-old woman's door two months ago and raped her. His truck was found in Texas. He's believed to be in Mexico. The sheriff says that's why the difficult task of Identifying a suspect is just half the battle.

Bivens says, "It's more difficult to apprehend someone you don't have a previous record on. They may have been deported, may have come back. They get back quicker a lot of times than we can get them deported it seems like."

Ronnie Walker has an 85-year-old mother who lives in Tellico Plains, not far from where the rape ocurred. He says everyone was terrified for a while, but says he's confident police will get their man.

Walker says, "Some how or the other, they seem to find them, even when they do go to Mexico. So I have all the confidence that this guy will be brought back to justice."

Ultimately, the sheriff says whether illegals are brought to justice depends on how much help locals get from federal immigration authorities.

Bivens says, "It's difficult to get things done, a lot of times. I mean it's not like you can call just because you've got someone that's illegal and they're going to come and get them. It doesn't always happen that way."

The Sheriff's Department says its relationship with federal immigration officials has gotten better in recent months.

Still, they say it looks as if even the federal government simply does not have the resources to adequately deal with this growing problem.

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  • by Dew Location: Oak Ridge on Jun 19, 2008 at 04:08 AM
    This is just disgusting. Why isnt there a video available? It the MSM trying to hide the crimes committed by illegals because it would anger the voters?
  • by Larry on May 13, 2008 at 07:10 PM
    The Gov. isn't going to do anything about this scourge, All they see is cheap labor for the contributers and votes for themselves.
  • by Mervin Location: Alexandria Louisiana on May 13, 2008 at 05:37 PM
    Until this sorry excuse of a government gets serious about our sorry Imigration Policies,We will Look and become nothing more than a third world country.I say pick up all illegals No matter the nationality.And send them back home.and make the penalty very steep for re-entry.we will never get a handle on illegals.
  • by Michelle Location: Tampa,FL on May 13, 2008 at 12:25 PM
    It is time for the government to do something about our borders.
  • by Tammy Location: Crossville on May 13, 2008 at 10:12 AM
    It seems no one has the money to deal with the ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS! So, I say we do it ourselves, and we should get by with what we do also(Do to the lack of money) : (
  • by DinTN Location: Tennessee on May 13, 2008 at 10:01 AM
    "How are you so sure the rapist is an illegal. and not all elligals are from mexico. and not all mexican are elligal ..right????" Leslie- how's this for a clue: "Francisco Barbosa, who also goes by the name Francisco Sanchez"? And some people think it's a waste of time to check people LEAVING the U.S. as well as entering. "Counter productive"? Tell that to the victims.
  • by toby Location: knoxville on May 13, 2008 at 07:39 AM
    i am sorry for what had to go true with this criminal, he is a real criminal but not even try suggesting all spanish speaker are criminal because that is not true there is all kind of criminals : hispanics whites black there's always a rotten apple, and hope they arrest this criminal regardless is race
  • by Brittanicus Location: Indianapolis on May 12, 2008 at 09:06 PM
    The biased media will not reveal the ugly truth? About the incessant murders, female and child violations, the drunken drivers and the carnage that goes on in every community within our borders. The unrestricted evidence about our open border and the pending Federal SAVE ACT (H.R.4088) and the new Presidents AMNESTY. For the stark unsuppressed reality of the truth, about the illegal immigration invasion, that can only be found on the Internet. NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIAL WATCH, LIBERTY POST, IMMIGRATION NEWS INDEXER, UNIPAC and VDARE. TIME TO FIGHT BACK OR SHUT UP!
  • by Leslie Location: tenn on May 12, 2008 at 08:20 PM
    How are you so sure the rapist is an illegal. and not all elligals are from mexico. and not all mexican are elligal ..right????


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