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Two Adelanto Detention Center ICE Detainees Have Died In The Past Three Weeks

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The Adelanto Detention Facility in Adelanto, California. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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Sergio Alonso Lopez, a 55-year-old Mexican man, died in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at Victor Valley Global Medical Center late Thursday night. Lopez is the second detainee to die in ICE custody at the Victorville hospital in the past three weeks.

Osmar Epifanio Gonzalez-Gadba, a 32-year-old Nicaraguan national, died at Victor Valley on March 28, six days after he had attempted suicide. Both detainees were transferred to Victor Valley from Adelanto Detention Center, an immigration detention facility in the high desert where they were being housed.

According to ICE, Lopez was transferred to the hospital from the Adelanto Detention Facility on April 1 after vomiting blood. According to the agency, the 55-year-old had a "history of serious medical issues, including cirrhosis of the liver, hypertension, alcohol abuse, and opioid dependence with withdrawal symptoms."

The privately-owned Adelanto Detention Facility is run, like many other immigrant detention facilities, by GEO Group, the nation's second largest for-profit prison operator. ICE contracts with the city of Adelanto for the space, and the city of Adelanto contracts with Geo Group to run it, according to KPCC. Adelanto is the largest immigrant detention center in California, with a population approaching 2,000 people.

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Lopez had been in ICE custody since February 7; he was one of the more than 160 individuals arrested across the Southland during a five-day enforcement surge. According to the agency, Lopez's removal case was pending before immigration courts at the time of his death, and he had past convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, felony burglary, and felony drug possession. He had previously been deported to Mexico three times since 1994, most recently in 2001.

Lopez is the third immigrant detainee to die in ICE custody since President Trump took office on January 20.