“Prosecutor Ryan Lindberg in court on Tuesday requested a high bail for the illegal immigrant because he feared the man might flee the country again.”
Last week, Garcia-Velasco, an illegal immigrant who illegally entered the United States from Mexico seven times, was driving drunk and speeding down a Nebraska highway when he crashed his van, killing a passenger sitting in the back of the vehicle.
This occurred around 1PM on July 5th — he lost control of his 2001 Dodge Ram van as he headed west on Interstate 80 near the Interstate 680 split. The van was going over 100 mph, when it hit a guardrail and a bridge abutment before it rolled and caught fire.
In court on Tuesday, Douglas County Nebraska prosecutors said Nemias Garcia-Velasco, 32, was deported in 2009 and 2011 and “voluntarily returned” to Mexico five times in 2005. He was convicted of making a false claim to U.S. citizenship in 2005.
Garcia-Velasco’s bail was set at $2 million. Prosecutor Ryan Lindberg in court on Tuesday requested a high bail for the illegal immigrant because he feared the man might flee the country again. “If this is someone who bonds out, I don’t think we’ll see Mr. Garcia-Velasco again,” Lindberg said.
Lindberg’s has good reason to fear Velasco would disappear once out on bail. In a local case from early 2016, Eswin Mejia, a now-21-year-old man from Honduras who was in the U.S. illegally, was charged with motor vehicle homicide and drunken driving. Authorities say the pickup truck he was driving collided with a SUV driven by 21-year-old Sarah Root of Council Bluffs, fatally injuring her. Mejia posted 10 percent, or $5,000 of his $50,000 bail set by Douglas County Judge Jeff Marcuzzo. Mejia, however, disappeared and is still being searched for.
In the Garcia-Velasco case, Silvano Torres, 58, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt while riding in the back of the van, died in the crash. Torres had documents to be in the U.S., and he was a father of two girls and a boy. Another passenger, Jesus I. Gonzalez, 16, was hospitalized and released later that day.
Garcia-Velasco later told police he drank twelve beers into the early morning of the crash. His blood-alcohol level was at .243, three times the legal limit of .08.
These type of cases, as well as others, prompted the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a measure called “Sarah’s Law”. It requires federal immigration officials to take custody of any person who is in the country illegally and charged with a crime resulting in the death or serious bodily injury of another person. It was part of a broader bill aimed at cracking down on sanctuary jurisdictions. The House also approved another bill to help combat the problem with illegal immigration — “Kate’s Law.” Kate’s Law would enhance penalties for people who re-enter the country illegally and require mandatory jail time.