by Jason Hopkins
The man arrested for a deadly hit-and-run accident in Colorado is not only living in the United States illegally, but has been deported six different times in the past two decades.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has revealed that Juan Sanchez — a Mexican national who was recently charged for fleeing the scene of a fatal car accident — is an illegal alien and a repeat violator of U.S. immigration law, according to local reports. The victim’s family members say she was just days away from her 52nd birthday.
Annette Conquering Bear, who was running an errand at a nearby Walgreens in the Denver area, was struck by a vehicle while she was crossing an intersection on December 17. The SUV that hit her never stopped, according to a statement from the Denver Police Department. A witness was able to flag down a nearby ambulance, but Conquering Bear was pronounced dead at the scene.
Law enforcement was able to locate the vehicle — a white GMC Sierra crew cab truck — later that night. The owner of the vehicle told police that he lent the car to a man named “Juan,” which eventually led them to the apprehension of Juan Sanchez. He was formally charged with vehicular homicide and fleeing the scene of the accident, and his bond is set at $500,000.
ICE has since revealed that Sanchez, an illegal alien, has a lengthy history of border violations. The 39-year-old Mexican national has been deported a total of six times: once in 2012, three times in 2008, and twice in 2002.
As Sanchez’s case moves forward, questions remain over how his immigration status will affect cooperation between federal authorities and local law enforcement. Colorado’s state government, controlled by the Democratic Party, has become increasingly hostile toward ICE and any sort of immigration enforcement. This hostility culminated in Gov. Jared Polis signing House Bill 1124 into law in May, which largely prohibits local law enforcement from helping ICE apprehend or locate illegal aliens in the state.
ICE has lodged a detainer request for Sanchez should he be able to make bond, but it’s not clear if the request will be honored. The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the City and County of Denver and asked if they plan to ignore the ICE detainer, but has not yet received an answer.
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Jason Hopkins is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.