SELMA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The man allegedly responsible for driving the car that struck and killed a man in Selma last week was deported four years before that crash took place, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.
California Highway Patrol officers say 58-year-old Daryl Bagwell of Selma was killed on Friday when a car being driven by 27-year-old Pedro Cortez drifted from the eastbound to the westbound lane and struck Bagwell, killing him at the scene. Officers say Cortez then drove away from the scene. He was later found to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash and was booked into the Fresno County Jail, officers say.
According to federal immigration officials, 27-year-old Pedro Cortez (also known as Epigmenio Cortes-Pedro) was previously detained in Florida on Jan. 17, 2018. His arrest was part of a Criminal Arrest Program enforcement operation and he was ordered to be removed from the United States on Feb. 2, 2018.
Six days after the ruling, ICE officials say Pedro Cortez was removed to his home country of Mexico. Federal officials then add that he reentered the U.S. “at an unknown place, on an unknown date, without inspection by immigration officers.”
Cortez was arrested and booked into the Fresno County Jail on Saturday. The charge listed under his name is gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated – but also lists an INS detainer posted the same day as his arrest. ICE officials say the detainer is so that “ICE can take custody of that person in a safe and secure setting upon release from that agency’s custody.”
In a statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say its efforts are on those who pose a danger.
ICE focuses its civil immigration enforcement priorities on the apprehension and removal of noncitizens who pose a threat to our national security, public safety, and border security.