Undocumented suspect accused of killing three people in Knight’s Landing collision released on bail, drawing ire from ICE
Officials from the local branch of Immigrations and Custom Enforcement agency condemned California’s sanctuary policies after an undocumented man was released from a Yuba City Jail on bail on May 5. The suspect is now awaiting trial in ICE custody.
On the evening of May 4, a car allegedly driven by Ismael Huazo-Jardinez, allegedly veered off the road and crashed into a travel trailer home in Knight’s Landing, killing the three occupants inside — Jose Pacheco, 38, Anna Pacheco, 34, and their 10-year-old son Angel Pacheco-Espinoza — Sutter police told The Sacramento Bee.
“At around 9:54 p.m. Saturday, Huazo-Jardinez was speeding northbound in a 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche when he failed to adjust to a curve on Highway 113 and hit the family’s trailer near Jennings Court,” a Sutter County Sheriff press release obtained by The Bee reads.
Knight’s Landing is near the border of Sutter and Yolo counties, and though the crash technically happened in Yolo County, the suspect was taken into custody in Sutter County Jail on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter, The Bee reported.
Huazo-Jardinez was released on a $300,000 bail, police told The Bee, and presumably returned to his home in Yuba City afterward.
ICE spokesperson Paul Prince confirmed that the ICE began surveillance of Huazo-Jardinez’s last known address in Yuba City shortly after he was released on bail. Prince said that ICE agents took Huazo-Jardinez into custody on May 7 without incident.
“On Tuesday, May 7, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) (San Francisco) Fugitive Operations Team members apprehended Huazo-Jardinez,” Prince said via email. “ICE used available resources to locate and detain him. He will remain in ICE custody pending the disposition of his immigration proceedings.”
Prince provided some of the background information obtained by ICE on Huazo-Jardinez. Allegedly from Mexico, he was first apprehended by immigration in 2011, and accepted the agency’s offer to voluntarily return to his home country.
“Ismael Huazo-Jardinez is an illegally present Mexican national,” Prince said via email. “The U.S. Border Patrol apprehended him in Arizona and granted him voluntary return to Mexico in February 2011. He illegally re-entered at some point thereafter.”
Prince declined to comment specifically on his agency’s position on the case, but forwarded a statement from Acting Director Field Officer Director Erik Bonnar he said addressed the agency’s position on California’s sanctuary policy.
“Individuals who enter our country illegally and commit crimes must not be released back into our communities where they are able to harm others,” Bonnar said in the statement. “This is an important matter of public safety.”
Prince told The Bee that Huazo-Jardinez was released from custody before ICE could file a detainer to take him into their custody.
“ICE lodges detainers once the agency determines an alien is subject to removal,” Prince said via email, citing an official statement from the agency. “In certain situations, an alien may be released from local custody before ICE can lodge a detainer with the local law enforcement agency.”
Even if ICE had filed a detainer, however, California Sanctuary Law Senate Bill 54 prohibits local law enforcement from detaining undocumented individuals accused of a crime on behalf of ICE.
“It’s unfortunate that current local and state laws and policies tie the hands of local law enforcement agencies that want and need to work with ICE to promote public safety by holding criminals accountable and providing justice and closure for their victims,” Prince said to The Bee.
Written by: Tim Lalonde — firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article referred to Knight’s Landing as King’s Landing. That is incorrect. The Aggie regrets the error.