Is this a Federal offense???

This is a discussion on Is this a Federal offense??? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Last month my sister and her husband were hit head-on by a drunk driver and both were killed. The "driver" fled the scene on foot ...

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Thread: Is this a Federal offense???

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Rotorblade's Avatar
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    Is this a Federal offense???

    Last month my sister and her husband were hit head-on by a drunk driver and both were killed.
    The "driver" fled the scene on foot and is reportedly back in Mexico (he was here illegally). He left his wife and small child here so law enforcement has interviewed her and they have a list of places he is likely to go in Mexico (relatives, friends etc.). In speaking with the CHP (they own the case), the guys name is now in the system but nobody is "actively" looking for him. This is disappointing as the CHP does operate a unit near the border that works with the Mexican authorities locating stolen cars in Mexico but apparently that's a higher priority then locating someone who killed 2 people.......anyway....I asked the officer if fleeing to Mexico made this a federal crime and he wasn't sure, he said possibly.
    Questions for those of you in law enforcement:
    Is this a federal crime (going back to Mexico to avoid arrest)? If so, will federal law enforcement help (FBI etc.)?
    What is the best way to "motivate" a state law enforcement agency to put a little extra effort into actually trying to find this guy?

    The officer basically told me that his name is in the system and we need to just wait and see if he comes back (using the same name), AND.... he gets pulled over for some reason.
    After killing 2 people it is unlikely that this guy will come back using a name that's in the system..............I guess I've seen too many movies where cops "actively" try to track the bad guy down,...here is my dose of reality!
    To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will.
    Ronald Reagan

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  3. #2
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    Here is the reality of the situation; yes, he killed two people. But, depending on how whatever states DUI/OVI laws are written, it may simply be a traffic offense- and that sucks. Many states have adopted such laws making it a felony if somebody is hurt in a drunk driving crash. Here is another dose of reality; with our porous borders this guy isn't a high priority to catch. Even if we do catch him, guess what? They'll send him right back home. Its wrong, it sucks, but that is what they do.
    State LE is not going to chase the guy in Mexico. Maybe, just maybe a federal agency will, but because of the nature of the crime and our awesome free flowing borders, I doubt it.

    I'm sorry to hear about your sister and her husband. Drunk drivers piss me off, and illegal's piss me off even more. I hope somebody with a little more border experience will chime in, I have none.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  4. #3
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    No, it does not make it a federal offense, while federal authorities may cooperate in the apprehension & extradition----it will remain a state or county case as applies in your state.

  5. #4
    Member Array ConcealedG30's Avatar
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    Words can not begin to express the Anger I feel when I hear of situations like this.

    Thoughts are with you.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I live 20 miles from Mexico,about the only thing I've ever seen them extradite for is Murder,that is a huge problem with Illegal Immigrants when they get in trouble here they just haul ass back across the border and later come back with a new fake name and fake SSN number
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    The really bad news is that the United States has no formal extradition treaty with Mexico which is why criminals flee there. On rare occasions there is "cooperation" but usually
    it's reserved for headline grabbing events. Also taking into consideration the current administrations total lack of concern about our southern border and that makes the problem even worse.
    As far as it being a federal offense, it became one when the scumbag first entered our country. I'm so sorry for your loss.
    "First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
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    Member Array Cattus Vir's Avatar
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    There is a chance that he only fled the state are is hiding until he can obtain new ID and SS card. Rotorblade my prayers are with you and your family.

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    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    Flight across a state line to avoid prosecution is a federal crime.
    The police have no jurisdiction outside the country so they can not look for him in Mexico.
    The police have dropped a wanted card on him. Hopefully he's been arrested, and has his fingerprints on file. When (not if) he returns to the US and is stopped by police he will be identified as the murderous, person that he is...
    However I'd advise that you keep in touch with the officer/detective who's handling the case. Many wanted criminals who take it on the lam get caught in routine traffic stops.
    Sorry for your loss, my prayers are with your family. He'll be gotten... eventually.

    Spuk!

  10. #9
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    Under 18 USC 1073, fleeing the state (by crossing state or international borders) to avoid prosecution for a felony is a federal offense. That does not, unfortunately, mean that any federal agency will actively pursue someone who is in a foreign country, but it does mean that he COULD face additional federal charges if he is ever caught. I, for one, certainly hope that he is...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Under 18 USC 1073, fleeing the state (by crossing state or international borders) to avoid prosecution for a felony is a federal offense. That does not, unfortunately, mean that any federal agency will actively pursue someone who is in a foreign country, but it does mean that he COULD face additional federal charges if he is ever caught. I, for one, certainly hope that he is...
    I agree,I would also try to keep close tabs on wife and kids,they usually come back once they think they are safe.This is exactly why any Illegals need to be prosecuted for Illegal entry and any green cards and SSN numbers verified for work and any State or Federal assistance,,if they can't get a job here they won't come.I'm all for the old style Chain Gangs for Illegals that are caught here,first offense 1 year incarceration and mandatory work for food and shelter,no worky no eat
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Hate to say it, but there were 2 cases here where they actively keep working with Mexican officials to catch the guys. Both were murders. The one was caught 1 yr later in Mexico, and returned to the USA. So, even if they do... it may be a very long wait ... as 1 yr was a guy they kept trying to find and were after.

    I think America's Most Wanted has much better results.
    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
    Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Tragic incident for you and yours, sorry you had to join the club.

    My own experience with being "T" boned hit and run on my motorcycle with my now wife by a car load of illegals...paralleled your story short of fatalities and the guy leaving the county. He just hid out and was caught a month later in a different county and I was very fortunate that the LEOs opted to hold him for the warrant rather than the usual "You have a warrant out in xxxx county, you should get that taken care of."

    Turns out the guy was on his 5th name change (most of them re-arranging his given names....Marquez Ramon Gonzales, Ramon Marquez Gonzales, Ramon Gonzales Marquez, etc...), had an extensive criminal history under all names, and to top it all off, the INS was aware of his presence and his activities in the area, yet did nothing to bag and tag him.

    Surprisingly after cash bonding out on the $500, he showed up to the first court appearance, and was still looking at a minimum of 2 years after the DA dropped several charges from the accident (w/o consulting me on the matter as I was instructed they would). FTA'd on the second court date, and a $100 warrant issued. I challenged the Judges decision, then the judge actually opened the file and agreed that the case was filed wrong, nothing she could do, I would have to take it up with the DA, and maxed the warrant to $5k (I requested a no bond warrant - he was an obvious flight risk with a long history). No go, the case was filed as a misdemeanor, not felony.

    He's on my list.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Rotorblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks View Post
    Tragic incident for you and yours, sorry you had to join the club.

    My own experience with being "T" boned hit and run on my motorcycle with my now wife by a car load of illegals...paralleled your story short of fatalities and the guy leaving the county. He just hid out and was caught a month later in a different county and I was very fortunate that the LEOs opted to hold him for the warrant rather than the usual "You have a warrant out in xxxx county, you should get that taken care of."

    Turns out the guy was on his 5th name change (most of them re-arranging his given names....Marquez Ramon Gonzales, Ramon Marquez Gonzales, Ramon Gonzales Marquez, etc...), had an extensive criminal history under all names, and to top it all off, the INS was aware of his presence and his activities in the area, yet did nothing to bag and tag him.

    Surprisingly after cash bonding out on the $500, he showed up to the first court appearance, and was still looking at a minimum of 2 years after the DA dropped several charges from the accident (w/o consulting me on the matter as I was instructed they would). FTA'd on the second court date, and a $100 warrant issued. I challenged the Judges decision, then the judge actually opened the file and agreed that the case was filed wrong, nothing she could do, I would have to take it up with the DA, and maxed the warrant to $5k (I requested a no bond warrant - he was an obvious flight risk with a long history). No go, the case was filed as a misdemeanor, not felony.

    He's on my list.
    Guys...thank you for the condolences......this has been a real awakening for me...it ain't like the movies where the good guys always win..
    To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will.
    Ronald Reagan

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Chad Rogers's Avatar
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    It can be a federal crime. Flight to Avoid Prosecution. 18 USC 1073. (Used to be called UFAP - Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution.) It has always been typcially used by the federal government to assist state/locals in apprehending fugitives who have feld the original jursidiction. Now the federal government will not actually prosecute a person for this. It requires the approval of the AG, or somebody just about that high up to do that. That's DOJ policy. But the statute can be used to help apprehend a suspect.

    It may be worth having your local police go to the U.S. Attorney's Office and try to speak with the duty AUSA and drum up interest.

  16. #15
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    I'm very sorry for your loss Rotorblade. It is a tragedy which is just compounded by status of the offender and the sanctuary of Mexico.

    Things like this involving Mexico and illegals just don't have happy endings. I can say, it is likely justice will not be the order of the day. It's a hard pill to swallow and very little condolence.

    I hope you can find some closure as best you can. I do hope the guy is caught and justice is served, but I think you know the likelihood of that. I hope you can find piece of heart soon. Best wishes buddy. Your family is in my prayers tonight.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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