A man who was living in Memphis and last year attacked and killed an 18-year-old woman with a machete pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder — and federal officials said Wednesday he’s an illegal alien.

That man, Ledis Sanchez, 36, is from Central America, said Sarah Loicano, spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“ICE filed an immigration detainer Feb. 18, 2020, on Ledis Noel Sanchez-Baquedano, 36, an unlawfully present citizen of Honduras, following his felony arrest by the Memphis Police Department for first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder,” Loicano told The Tennessee Star on Wednesday, via email.

“Sanchez was previously removed from the United States by the U.S. Border Patrol on an expedited order of removal on May 11, 2012 and again on June 29, 2012.”

The Memphis Commercial Appeal last year reported that Sanchez used a machete to attack and kill Sierra Howard. He also injured Howard’s mother. The paper said Howard’s mother sustained a fractured skull and injuries to her arms and hands.

Members of the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office told The Star that Sanchez pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder and received a sentence of 40 years. He also pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and received a sentence of 30 years.

Both sentences will run concurrently, court officials said.

Per federal law, ICE has the authority to lodge immigration detainers with law enforcement partners who have custody of individuals arrested on criminal charges and who ICE has probable cause to believe are removable noncitizens.

The detainer form asks other law enforcement agencies to notify ICE in advance of releasing these people and to maintain custody of the noncitizen for a brief period. This, so ICE can take custody of that person in a safe and secure setting upon release from that agency’s custody.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]