San Antonio police chief defends actions in smuggling case

San Antonio police chief defends actions in smuggling case

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A Texas police chief is defending himself against a state investigation by saying his department acted appropriately in charging a man suspected of smuggling 12 immigrants with a state felony instead of referring the case to federal authorities.

San Antonio police Chief William McManus said Thursday that he acted within his "chiefly prerogatives" in the case stemming from the discovery Dec. 23 of a dozen people found in a tractor-trailer.

The immigrants, suspected of being in the country illegally, were released rather than turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Texas attorney general's office said Wednesday it's investigating to determine if McManus violated the state's sanctuary cities law, which penalizes local officials for impeding the enforcement of immigration laws.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg says criticism of McManus is "nothing more than political theater."

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