NewsCovering Kern County


ICE agents will not face charges following deadly crash in Delano

Posted at 5:50 PM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 20:50:31-04

The Kern County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday morning that it will not file charges against ICE agents following a deadly crash in Delano last month.

Delano Police Department requested that the District Attorney's Office review the case after Delano Police officers said ICE agent's provided false information to peace officers by saying they didn't have their lights on when they attempted to pull over the couple. 

Wednesday the District  Attorney Lisa Green said surveillance video also wasn't enough proof for charges to be filed,"No charges will be filled against either agent Sanchez or agent Benitez," 

On March 13, Marcelina Profecto and Santo Hilario died after crashing their truck  into a pole on Cecil Avenue while fleeing from ICE agents. Since then, there have been a lot of question surrounding whether ICE agents, Ramiro Sanchez and Dimas Benitez had their siren lights on when they were attempting to pull the couple over.

“Agent's Sanchez's exact words were that he was not in pursuit with emergency lights siren," Green said.

Agent Sanchez's testimony to Delano Police later raised questions, when police said surveillance video contradicted what he originally told  them, “Captured on the video the first agents vehicle driven by agent Sanchez had emergency lights on and the second agent, Agent Benitez had his rear emergency lights on," Green said.

Upon Delano Police Department's request, the District Attorney's Office reviewed vehicle code 31 which states, no person shall give, false information in writing or oral form to a peace officer while  performing his or her duties, however, Green said either way the statements ICE agents gave to police about the usage of their light sirens can't be considered  a contributing factor in the case. “These statements are not material the only way they could be considered material is if the pursuit with lights and sirens was a factor in the cause of the accident."

Green would not provide information pertaining to the couple's legal status.

Delano Police Department told 23ABC that they whole heartedly support the final ruling made by the District Attorney's Office Wednesday and that they believe the District Attorney's Office had strong reasons that justified the decision to not press charges against the ICE agents.