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ICE adds street-racing Honduran national to most wanted list for DUI vehicular homicide

March 10, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
ICE adds street-racing Honduran national to most wanted list for DUI vehicular homicide

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Officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement added a Honduran national sought for vehicular homicide to their #MostWantedWednesday list.

According to an ICE press release, Edwin Mejia, an undocumented immigrant, who is still at-large, was last seen in a sanctuary jurisdiction in Omaha, Nebraska.

The agency posted a tweet that stated: “#MostWantedWednesday Have you seen this #mostwanted fugitive?”

Authorities apprehended the 20-year-old Honduran native for felony driving under the influence and reportedly caused the death of 21-year-old Sarah Root. Omaha officials said that Mejia was intoxicated and was street racing back in January 2016, when he crashed his truck into the back of her stopped SUV.

Mejia’s blood alcohol level was allegedly .241, which is four times over the legal limit. The state also suspended his driver’s license before the incident. He has a prior criminal history and had several warrants for traffic infractions. He also failed to appear in court back in 2015. Despite his history and predisposition to fail to appear in court, and the fact that he posed a flight risk because he was a foreign alien, the judge granted bail.

ICE officials hesitantly confirmed that Mejia was “undocumented” and noted that the department did not want the focus of the probe to be on his illegal status but instead on locating him.

Both the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Centers for Immigration Studies list Douglas County in Omaha as a sanctuary jurisdiction.

The incident caused the death of 21-year-old Sarah Root, a resident of Council Bluffs. She graduated with a major in criminal investigations from Bellevue University with a 4.0 GPA one day before she was killed in the crash.

The case garnered national coverage and outrage after information of Mejia’s release went public.

The Honduran national is still on the lam and may never serve prison time because a detainer was not issued by ICE. Local police said they asked ICE officials to detain Mejia but ICE denied their request. Officials with the Obama Administration said he did not meet their requirements for a detainer.

A judge established bond at $50,000. Mejia’s brother paid the $5,000 fee, representing 10% of the total. The jail had no choice but to release the criminal after ICE failed to issue a detainer.

Michelle Root, the victim’s mother, said at the time, “My daughter’s life accounts for more than $5,000 to bail him out.”

In February 2016, ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer told Breitbart News:

At the time of his arrest in Omaha on local criminal charges, Edwin Mejia, did not meet ICE’s enforcement priorities, as stated in the November 2014 civil enforcement memo issued by Secretary Johnson, because he had no significant misdemeanor or felony convictions. As such, ICE did not lodge a detainer. Mejia is scheduled to go before an immigration judge on March 23, 2017, and it will be up to the courts under the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to determine whether he has a basis to remain in the U.S.”

In late August, presidential candidate Donald Trump recognized Sarah Root’s family at an event in Iowa.

The “Wanted” notice from ICE indicates that Edwin Mejia illegally entered the U.S. in 2013. Mejia came into the country as an unaccompanied teenager. Although there have been various attempts by the agency to find the man, officials have not determined his whereabouts.

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