Undocumented hit-and-run suspect in deadly I-70 crash wanted by ICE bonds out of jail

DENVER – An undocumented hit-and-run suspect wanted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials bonded out of jail less than a week after a deadly crash claimed the life of a semi-truck driver, according to the Denver Sheriff’s Department.

Ivan Gerardo Zamarripa-Castaneda, 26, was being held at the Denver Jail on charges of vehicular homicide following a deadly crash on the eastbound lanes of I-70 near I-25 just after midnight last Sunday.

Denver police said Zamarripa-Castaneda left the scene of the crash but was caught more than 12 hours later at this home.

In a probable cause statement obtained by Denver7, investigators said the suspect showed signs of impairment including slurred speech, breath that had a moderate odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage and watery eyes.

Zamarripa-Castaneda agreed to perform a sobriety test which he was not able to complete. He also consented to a blood test, but results are still pending.

On Monday, ICE requested a detainer for Zamarripa-Castaneda while he was in jail, but in a statement sent to Denver7 the following day, a Denver Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said, Denver “has not honored civil detainers since 2013.”

“A detainer is simply a civil request from an agency to hold someone beyond their release date. It is not a judicial order or warrant,” the spokesperson said. “To hold someone in jail with no basis would violate the individual’s 4th amendment rights and subject the city to significant liability.”

ICE will use a detainer to identify people in jail or prison who could be deported, with the sole purpose being so law enforcement notifies ICE that a suspect is being released so they can be taken into their custody.

Something which had not happened in the case of Zamarripa-Castaneda as of Sunday afternoon.

Denver has previously released suspected criminals despite ICE detainers

The release of Zamarripa-Castaneda is not the first case where the Denver Sheriff’s Department let go of a suspected criminal who was in the country illegally.

Early last year, Ever Valles, one of the teenagers now convicted in the deadly shooting of a man at an RTD station, was known by ICE agents months before the shooting.

Valles was booked into the Denver jail for aggravated auto theft and vehicular eluding in October of 2016 and was released on Dec. 20 that same year after posting a $5,000 bond.

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