A DUI suspect that allegedly plowed into a home in California, killing the three occupants inside while they slept has been taken into custody. What makes this story different than others, is that the suspect was an illegal immigrant who had initially been set free.
Federal immigration officials took Ismael Huazo-Jardinez, 33, back into custody on Tuesday after he had priorly been released from custody on bail. To say that the neighbors of the family that was killed are more at ease is an understatement, as many had voiced that they feared he had actually skipped town.
Huazo-Jardinez was initially arrested on Saturday night in the small community of Knights Landing reportedly near Sacramento. The officers of the California Highway Patrol that performed the arrest had stated that Huazo-Jardinez was indeed intoxicated, and while speeding the truck he was operating missed a sharp curve in the road and slammed head-on into a live-in trailer occupied by a sleeping family.
California Highway Patrol law enforcement officials met with the family of the victims outside the mobile home where the incident occurred. Those killed included Jose Pacheco, 38, Anna Pacheco, 34, and their son Angel Pacheco. An 11-year-old daughter who was also in the mobile home is reportedly alive but in critical condition.
Steve Bravo, one of the first individuals at the scene, stated that “As soon as he came out of the vehicle, he was so intoxicated I could smell the alcohol from 10 feet away.”
Neighbors in the small community were said to have been outraged upon learning that Huazo-Jardinez had been released the following day, Sunday, from the Sutter County Jail after having been able to post a $300,000 bond. It was also reported that a California judge denied requests from the California Highway Patrol to set Huazo-Jardinez’s bail at $1 million, or even no bail at all.
Another neighbor, Mary Ann Mason, who in all honestly wondered if Huarzo-Jardinez would actually show for his court date, said: "I think he should be held accountable for the three lives that he took and the little girl who is now an orphan."
Paul Prince, a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman, stated that the 33-year-old Huarzo-Jardinez is indeed an illegal immigrant, having entered the US unlawfully through Mexico. Having been arrested eight years ago in Arizona, Huarzo-Jardinez willingly returned to Mexico at that time. It is unknown as to exactly when he once again entered the US illegally.
Having been arrested and convicted of driving recklessly, and having multiple traffic citations, he had no major criminal record. Prince stated the individual would remain in federal custody until his immigration status can be fully determined.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Was this another case of an illegal immigrant slipping through the cracks of bureaucracy?