A 29-year-old Memphis man pled guilty Wednesday to a drunk-driving crash that killed a motorist in Memphis.
Members of the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office refused to say if that man, Ramiro Junior, is an illegal immigrant.
The crash happened in 2015, south of Poplar Avenue, said Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich, in a press release.
According to Memphis TV station WREG, at the time of the crash police found several bottles of Corona beer — open and unopened — inside Junior’s car. The car also had 18 bottles in the back seat.
No one at the district attorney’s office returned The Tennessee Star’s repeated requests for comment Wednesday on Junior’s immigration status.
Criminal Court Judge John Campbell sentenced Junior to eight years in prison for vehicular homicide involving alcohol. Junior’s blood-alcohol content was .111, according to a press release.
Jose R. Jaimes, 24, died in that crash.
“Investigators said Junior was driving an SUV at (a) high rate of speed westbound on I-240 when he lost control, spun into another lane and struck a sedan, injuring two occupants and killing Jaimes,” the press release said.
Sam Winnig of the district attorney’s DUI Prosecution Unit handled the case, according to the press release.
The DUI Prosecution Unit conducts training sessions to update law enforcement officers on changes in traffic and DUI laws.
As The Star reported, Tennessee’s top political leaders, including State Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Glen Casada, have rebuked Memphis officials for not going along with a new law to detain illegal immigrants for federal officials.
The state law took effect Jan. 1.
The law threatens local governments with the loss of future state economic and community development money if they have sanctuary policies.
Federal immigration officials have the power to deport illegal aliens arrested on other charges. But some local laws have kept those local law enforcement officers from cooperating with the feds. The new law bans those local policies.
That includes barring local policies that require federal officials to obtain a warrant or show probable cause beforehand.
As The Star reported last fall, Shelby County officials, specifically the folks at the county attorney’s office, tell their law enforcement officers to ignore the feds, especially Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Members of the Shelby County Attorney’s Office said federal officials’ requests that the county detain suspected illegals for up to 48 hours after their scheduled release violate the U.S. Constitution.
They said such requests likely violate the 10th Amendment ban against commandeering of local governments by the feds. Members of the county attorney’s office also say the requests likely violate the Fourth Amendment protection against arrests without probable cause.
Despite this, members of the sheriff’s office have found a loophole. Sheriff’s deputies will release suspected illegal immigrants, but they will notify ICE agents about when, precisely, they’ll release those people.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich” and “Ramiro Junior” by SCDAG.