Last week, U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England sentenced Ismael Huazo-Jardinez to 15 months in prison for “possessing a firearm while being an alien unlawfully in the United States.” As U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott explained, “Huazo-Jardinez is a citizen and national of Mexico who has twice been removed from the United States and has not been granted permission to return. As an alien unlawfully in the United States, Huazo-Jardinez is prohibited by federal statute from possessing a firearm.” The prison-bound Mexican, as it happens, has yet to face trial on the original criminal charges that led to discovery of that firearm.
On May 4, 2019 in Knight’s Landing, California, north of Sacramento, Huazo-Jardinez crashed his Chevrolet Avalanche into a mobile home, killing Jose Pacheco, 38, Anna Pacheco, 34, their 10-year-old son Angel Pacheco, and critically injuring daughter Mariana Pacheco, 11. The driver’s blood-alcohol level was .122, far above the legal limit.
The drunk tried to flee but neighbors tackled him and held him for police. They sought triple manslaughter and felony DUI charges, but the illegal caught a break when Sutter County judge David Ashby, a 2016 appointee of Gov. Jerry Brown, allowed Huazo-Jardinez to post bail. The Mexican national promptly fled but Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apprehended him on May 7.
In the cab of the Mexican’s Chevrolet Avalanche police found a handgun that had been reported stolen in Boise, Idaho. At the illegal’s Yuba City residence police found a second stolen firearm registered to a resident of Colusa County. A search of the residence also turned up 9mm ammunition, $12,000 in cash and more than two dozen cell phones. Police also found a Mexican passport and a bag packed with clothes, signs that the triple manslaughter suspect was preparing to flee the country.
According to ICE spokesman Paul Prince, “Ismael Huazo-Jardinez is an illegally present Mexican national. The U.S. Border Patrol apprehended him in Arizona and granted him voluntary return to Mexico in February 2011. . . He illegally re-entered at some point thereafter.”
On May 28, Sutter County officials charged the illegal alien with three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, with four enhancements for great bodily injury or death. The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed the gun charges, and those resulted in a conviction and sentence before Sutter County launched proceedings on action on the manslaughter charges. From the start, Sutter County authorities were not exactly eager to pursue justice for slain victims Jose, Anna, and Angel Pacheco, and the injured Mariana.
It is highly unusual for a triple manslaughter suspect to be granted bail, particularly when he has already attempted to flee the scene of the crime. Judge Ashby granted bail to Huazo-Jardinez and it remains unclear who ponied up the $30,000 that allowed the Mexican to flee. On the other hand, if he had been kept in custody, the state’s sanctuary law would have barred Sutter County officials from handing the illegal to ICE. Fortunately, a federal Fugitive Operations Team captured the illegal before he could flee to Mexico.
In May, 2020, Huazo-Jardinz pleaded guilty to the gun charges and has now been sentenced to 15 months in prison. That all took place during a pandemic so locals wonder about the lethargy of state officials on the triple manslaughter charges. The case recalls Gustavo Perez Arriaga, also known as Paulo Virgen Mendoza, a Mexican gang member illegally present in the United States.
This criminal gunned down Newman, California, police officer Ronil Singh on December 26, 2018. Three illegals who helped Arriaga flee were tried and convicted in federal court before September 1, 2020, when his murder trial was slated to begin but didn’t. Judge Ricardo Cordova, a 2003 appointee of Democrat governor Gray Davis, delayed the trial until well after the November 3 election. If Californians thought that was the real reason for delay it would be hard to blame them. President Trump mentioned the Singh case, and the deaths of the Pachecos shows the need for border enforcement.
Violent criminals abound in California and the state has no need to import them. Ismael Huazo-Jardinez, or whatever his real name is, was not supposed to be in the United States in the first place. He violated U.S. immigration law, gun laws, and his felony DUI claimed three innocent lives. As landlord Frankie Gonsalves told reporters, the Pachecos were a “model family. Two very hardworking parents, farmworkers, well-behaved kids. Really good people, pay their rent on time.” Now only Mariana remains.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who in 2019 reprieved 737 convicted murderers, including cop-killer Luis Bracamontes, did not speak publicly about the Pacheco family. Attorney general Xavier Becerra, once on Hillary Clinton’s short list as a running mate, failed to mention the case. Under California’s sanctuary law, the protection of violent criminals always takes priority over justice for their victims and the safety of the people.
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