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KMPH Fox26 (CA): Delano police ask DA to investigate ICE statements about crash that killed 2

Delano police ask DA to investigate ICE statements about crash that killed 2

FILE — A man kneels next to a memorial set up in Delano, Calif., for a couple who died in a crash while fleeing immigration agents in March 2018. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

The Delano Police Department is asking the Kern County District Attorney’s Office to investigate Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent statements regarding a crash that killed two people.

The crash happened March 13 on W. Cecil Avenue in Delano.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said its officers arrived at a home to arrest a “previously removed Mexican citizen.” ICE said a man matching the target’s description came out of the house and drove away.

Police say a preliminary investigation revealed the occupants of the car, 35-year-old Santo Hilario Garcia and 33-year-old Marcelina Garcia Profecto, fled from Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents during a traffic stop.

Police say the two ICE agents stated they had been conducting surveillance at a location within the City limits of Delano. he ICE agents stated the person of interest entered the Ford pickup and left the location. The ICE agents stated they initiated a traffic stop, and the driver of the vehicle did yield. Once the agents exited their vehicles, the driver fled the area. The ICE agents indicated in their statements to investigators that they did not pursue with their lights or sirens activated; however, they did follow in the same direction.

During an investigation, police say surveillance video was located. Police say the video indicates that the ICE agents did have the emergency lights activated on each of their respective vehicles, following in the same direction of the fleeing vehicle. The video surveillance depicts a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed traveling West Cecil Avenue. Shortly after, the two unmarked ICE vehicles were seen traveling in the same direction with emergency lights activated.

Police say based on the discrepancies in the statements provided by the ICE agents, the report was forwarded to the Kern county District Attorney’s Office for review, where charges have been requested for violation of California Vehicle Code section 31, which states: “No person shall give, either orally or in writing, information to a peace officer while in the performance of his duties under the provision of this code when such person knows that the information is false.”

The review by the Kern County District Attorney’s Office is still pending.

Individuals with any information regarding this case are still urged to contact the Delano Police Department Traffic Division.