The Jupiter man accused in the fatal crash that killed two paramedics is facing a review by immigration authorities, The Palm Beach Post has confirmed.
The U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has asked local authorities to place a detainer on Genaro De La Cruz Ajqui, spokesman Nestor Yglesias said Tuesday. Ajqui, 39, a citizen of Guatemala living in Jupiter, is accused in the June 1 crash that killed emergency-medical technicians Lahari Garcia and Paul Besaw.
An ICE detainer is a written request for a local jail or law-enforcement agency to detain a person suspected of being in the country illegally for an additional 48 hours after his or her release date. That extra time is meant to give ICE agents time to decide whether to take that person into federal custody for removal from the country.
No determination on De La Cruz’s status had been made public Tuesday morning.
Following his release from St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach on Thursday, police arrested him on multiple charges, including DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and driving without a license.
The fatal crash occurred shortly before 3 a.m. on June 1 near West Indiantown Road and Philadelphia Drive. Authorities say De La Cruz was driving under the influence of alcohol when he crashed his 2000 Chrysler convertible into an ambulance.
Besaw, 36, of Weston and Garcia, 51, of Port St. Lucie died at the scene. The crash left De La Cruz with serious injuries.
De La Cruz remained in the custody of local authorities Tuesday as a judge ordered that he held without bail. Yglesias said any criminal court proceeding would take priority over an immigration hearing.
If a person is convicted, he or she would first have to serve whatever sentence is imposed on a judge before facing deportation proceedings, Yglesias said. An executive order allows authorities to remove someone charged with a crime — even if they have been acquitted — from the country.