The illegal alien charged with killing a young Denver lawyer in an October felony hit-and-run had previously been deported, yet illegally returned to the U.S. and was arrested twice prior to the deadly incident.
Following a 2013 arrest, Honduran native Norlan Estrada-Reyes, 27, posted bond and was released before U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could detain him. ICE was never made aware of Estrada-Reyes’ subsequent arrest in 2014.
According to police, Estrada-Reyes was driving a full-size pickup truck on October 30, 2016, when he struck 28-year-old Karina Pulec as she was crossing the street, dragging her 50 feet. Pulec was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police located Estrada-Reyes’ pickup less than a mile from the incident, unoccupied, and still in drive.
On November 3, Estrada-Reyes gave himself up to authorities who charged him with felony hit-and-run involving death, driving without proof of insurance and careless driving.
Federal court documents indicate that he was interviewed by immigration officers on November 5, and an immigration detainer was issued, yet not enforced. Colorado jailers say they lack the authority under state law to hold inmates solely because of their immigration status.
“Due to the Denver (Sheriff Department) local policy, the detainer was not honored and Estrada was released from custody to the streets,” court documents noted.
Estrada-Reyes was ultimately arrested December 5 by immigration officers outside a Denver courthouse after he appeared for a hearing in the Pulec case. A criminal complaint accusing him of illegally re-entering the country was filed on Jan. 13 by the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office, and he was later indicted on the charge.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Colorado does not handle deportation proceedings, intervening only when immigration officers flag a person residing in the country illegally who has a criminal history. Individuals who illegally re-enter the U.S. after being deported account for approximately 30 to 40 percent of the office’s criminal case filings over the last 20 years.
Estrada-Reyes is being detained by federal authorities without bail pending the outcome of the immigration case, scheduled for February 27. Conviction could result in up to two years in federal prison, and Estrada-Reyes will likely be deported again.
In the case of Pulec’s death, Estrada-Reyes is scheduled for arraignment in a Denver court on March 3.
H/T: The Denver Post
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