Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
GREENVILLE — A man convicted of causing a crash that killed two pedestrians while under the influence is among five Mexican nationals indicted this week with having entered the country illegally.
Officials said they found the men earlier this year living in Wake, Granville or Craven counties. All five men have been deported in the past, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The suspects were indicted by a federal grand jury in Greenville Wednesday, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Friday. They are all being charged with illegal re-entry of a deported alien.
The suspects include Jorge Luis Ramirez-Hernandez, 36, who has been deported from the country three times in the past, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He also has been convicted of felony death by vehicle and driving while impaired, the release said. He was living in Craven County, the release said.
The spokesman, Don Connelly, said at least four of the suspects have been arrested and are in custody, although it’s possible all five have been. He did not know if the five cases are connected in any way and directed further questions to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
An ICE spokesman said Friday he will review the arrests but was not immediately able to provide additional information.
Two other suspects named in indictments this week also are facing weapons-related charges.
Rey Francisco Hernandez-Alavez, 33, is being charged with unlawful alien in possession of ammunition. Jose Perez-Arellano, 44, is being charged with unlawful alien in possession of a firearm.
Both were found in Wake County, according to the release. Details about the weapon charges were not available. Hernandez-Alavez, deported three times in the past, was arrested July 22, Connelly said. Perez-Arellano has been deported once before, and was arrested July 25.
The other suspects are Alfonso Bravo-Banuelos, 56, who has been deported once before; and Salomon Martinez-Ramirez, 41, who has been deported twice before. Both were arrested July 22 in Granville County.
The cases were investigated by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operation and Homeland Security Investigations.
According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety’s online offender database, Ramirez-Hernandez was convicted of two counts of felony death by a vehicle in March and is serving a 4-6 year sentencein state prison. The site lists the incident date as June 2, 2018.
A crash report from the N.C. Highway Patrol shows Ramirez-Hernandez was involved in a crash that day that killed two pedestrians.
According to the report, Wanda Denise Farrington and Lucretia Antionette Beasley, both of Greensboro, were riding a 1997 Toyota passenger car on U.S. Highway 421 near Greensboro. Due to mechanical issues, the women parked on the shoulder of the road, but were improperly partially blocking a merge lane, the report claimed. They got out and were standing in front of the car.
Ramirez-Hernandez, impaired by alcohol, was driving a 2003 Lincoln SUV, which crashed into the back of the parked Toyota. The Toyotta then struck Farrington and Beasley. Ramirez-Hernandez’s SUV ran off the road and overturned in a creek.
Ramirez-Hernandez, living in Siler City at the time, sustained serious injuries and was treated at a hospital. Garrington and Beasley were taken to hospitals, where they later died.
It is not known why Ramirez-Hernandez was not indicted on the ICE charge following the crash and his arrest by N.C. Highway Patrol, or following his conviction earlier this year.
Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers, whose office operates the local jail in Greensboro, has stated his office will not honor ICE detainers, but will communicate with ICE about the status of inmates in the jail’s custody.
If convicted on the new ICE charges, Ramirez-Hernandez could face two years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and a period of supervised release.
Bravo-Banuelos could face the same sentence.
The other three suspects — including Martinez-Ramierz, who has been convicted of the same charge in the Middle District of North Carolina in the past — could face 10 years imprisonment, along with the $250,000 fine and a period of supervised release.