The man who allegedly attacked Paul Pelosi is an illegal immigrant, U.S. officials have confirmed.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged an immigration detainer on Canadian national David DePape with San Francisco County Jail, Nov. 1, following his Oct. 28 arrest,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told The Epoch Times in an email.
DHS is the parent agency of ICE, which is tasked with removing people who are in the United States illegally.
Immigration detainers are placed on suspects who are illegal immigrants. They are meant to prevent state or local officials from releasing the suspects.
If a suspect is due to be released, the detainer means officials hand over the person to federal officials, unless local officials defy the request.
Adam Lipson, DePape’s public defender, indicated after DePape’s arraignment this week that he was representing an illegal immigrant.
“He currently has a federal hold so he can’t be released anyway,” Lipson told reporters when asked about the motion for no bail entered by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
Lipson could not be reached for comment.
“Nobody in America should be victimized by an illegal alien. The illegal alien crime rate here should be exactly 0.0%,” the National Border Patrol Council, the Border Patrol’s union, said in a statement.
Immigration records show DePape entered the United States in March 2008 as a temporary visitor. Canadians are generally admitted without a visa if they are visiting for business or pleasure and can typically stay in the United States for up to six months.
Additionally, according to a lawyer who has been in touch with DePape’s former girlfriend, DePape has embraced left-wing and right-wing conspiracy theories.
As Janice Hisle reports at The Epoch Times, the former girlfriend, Oxane “Gypsy” Taub, is herself in a women’s prison for 20 crimes involving a teen boy.
Taub’s attorney, Christopher Dobbins, told The Epoch Times on Nov. 2 that based on his conversations with Taub the theories about DePape being a right-wing extremist seem to be off base.
Dobbins thinks DePape tends to believe conspiracy theories in general, whether they’re left-wing or right-wing.
“He’s all over the place,” Dobbins said.
Dobbins said he has heard from Taub by phone frequently since news broke that DePape, 42, was arrested in the Oct. 28 breach of the Pelosi mansion in San Francisco. She has expressed a lot of concern for DePape, Dobbins said.
Taub has been trying to raise funds for DePape’s defense, Dobbins said.
Statements from Dobbins and a neighbor shed new light on DePape’s unorthodox lifestyle, his apparent homelessness, and his thought processes.
“Even though he’s probably Public Enemy No. 1 right now,” and DePape and Taub have apparently been estranged for a while, Taub still cares for her ex, Dobbins said.
She thinks he’s deeply troubled and has serious mental issues, Dobbins said. The two have known each other for many years and both were pictured in San Francisco newspapers in 2013 when they were protesting city ordinances banning public nudity.
Taub asked Dobbins to defend DePape; Dobbins said he declined the offer, choosing to steer away from a potential conflict of interest involving his representation of Taub.
Lawyer Contests ‘Fixated’ Claim
DePape is the father of two of Taub’s three children. A daughter, fathered by another man, is grown; two boys, in their late teens or early adulthood, have been living alone at their mother’s property during her legal troubles, Dobbins said.
Now 53, Taub is imprisoned near Los Angeles for offenses involving a teen boy, prosecutors said in a news release when a jury convicted her in August 2021.
Dobbins points out that his client testified in her own defense, and she still asserts that she is innocent. She testified that her actions toward the boy were misinterpreted.
The teen was a schoolmate of one of her sons, and Taub was convinced the boy was being abused, Dobbins said. She believed she was being helpful to him, as she was repeatedly contacting him after being told to stop, Dobbins said. But “she never touched him,” he declared.
Prosecutors, however, said Taub “became fixated on a 14-year-old boy in 2018,” and committed the offenses.
That was how the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office put it in a news release.
Prosecutors issued the release in August 2021 after a jury found Taub guilty of four felonies—attempted child abduction, stalking, and two counts of dissuading a witness—plus 16 misdemeanors: a count of molestation and 15 violations of court orders to stay away from the boy.
“Over the course of 14 months, she sent him numerous obsessive emails, created blogs directed at him, used his friends to send him messages, and eventually tried to abduct him a few blocks from his school in Berkeley,” the release said. “While the case was pending, Taub also tried to dissuade the victim from testifying.”
DePape Lived in School Bus
Dobbins, who was a schoolteacher before he became an attorney 14 years ago, said Taub is one of the most interesting, unusual clients he has ever encountered.
He described her as a free spirit and a well-intentioned idealist who can be misunderstood. “She is a kind of out-there person, kind of pushing the envelope,” he said, acknowledging that her nudist, bohemian lifestyle irritates her neighbors; he said he had visited the area several times.
Ryan La Coste, who resides near the house where Taub lived in the 1500 block of Woolsey St., Berkeley, Calif., told The Epoch Times that he only saw DePape “in passing,” but he believes DePape sometimes lived in a yellow school bus that is parked at the property.
Authorities have said they believe DePape mostly was living in a garage on Shasta Street in Richmond, Calif., for the past two years.
La Coste said DePape sporadically showed up in the Berkeley neighborhood even after Taub was incarcerated. La Coste believes he most recently saw DePape staying in the bus a couple of months ago.
La Coste has lived in the neighborhood for five or six years. Right after he moved in, “the problems started immediately” at Taub’s house, he said.
“Children was setting fires out here. They were dressed in like snorkeling gear and swim trunks, setting fires and smoke was coming into my house,” he said. “So I was like, trying to go tell their mother, not knowing who she was.”
Later that evening, he got a call that was “super-weird,” he said. “They said I threatened to kill her children…and it just got worse and worse from there…it was just kind of like a constant flow of bugging me and disturbing me and trying to pick fights with me.”
That stopped only after Taub was locked up on the charges involving the young boy. She is eligible for parole in January, court records show.
La Coste described DePape and a parade of other “characters” coming and going at Taub’s property, “almost like a hippie collective.”
“They’ve had people camping right here, trying to sell me drugs over the fence,” he said, “And, you know, they’re active nudists; they’re plastered all over the internet.”
Even Taub’s sons have been known to be “just standing there, naked,” La Coste said, even in front of his 13-year-old niece.
La Coste also said he found it strange that Taub was enamored of a psychoactive substance called ibogaine—which she would go to Mexico to obtain and then frequently offered to others, including him.
Ibogaine is found in the African rainforest shrub known as Tabernanthe Iboga. “It is unlicensed but used in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction,” according to a 2016 report in the National Library of Medicine. “However, reports of ibogaine’s toxicity are cause for concern.”
Asked to respond to La Coste’s statements about ibogaine, Dobbins acknowledged that his client testified about the drug during her trial last year, and acknowledged that she tried to offer it to the young man she was hanging around.
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