DOJ Charges Illegal Immigrant Involved in Edwin Jackson Fatal Crash

February 7, 2018 Updated: February 7, 2018

Federal charges have been laid against the man who allegedly drove drunk and killed an NFL player and an Uber driver on Feb. 4.

The Department of Justice is charging 37-year-old Manuel Orrego-Zavala, from Guatemala, with illegal re-entry of a previously deported alien.

“The defendant in this case allegedly re-entered the country illegally for the second time before he put the public safety of Indianapolis at risk and took the lives of two innocent men early Sunday morning,” said U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler in a statement.

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson, 26, and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe, 54, both died at around 4 a.m. Sunday, reportedly while they were standing outside their vehicle on the emergency shoulder.

Epoch Times Photo
Edwin Jackson in September 2016. (Jeffrey Beall via Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license)

Orrego-Zavala’s blood alcohol level was at 0.239 at the time of the crash, which is about three times the legal limit, reported the Indianapolis Star.

According to the criminal complaint, Orrego-Zavala was arrested after the accident and provided law enforcement authorities with the alias, “Alex G. Cabrera.” However, Homeland Security agents quickly learned his true identity.

The Justice Department said Orrego-Zavala was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE ERO) in October 2006, and removed from the United States to Guatemala in January 2007.

At that time, Orrego-Zavala was prohibited from returning to the United States for 10 years. In March 2009, he was arrested by ICE ERO and in May 2009, removed to Guatemala and prohibited from returning for 20 years.

“In April, Attorney General Sessions directed all federal prosecutors to prioritize charging aliens that illegally re-enter the country, especially if they are a risk to public safety or there is a criminal history present,” Minkler said.

Orrego-Zavala will remain in custody while the case is investigated by the Indiana State Police and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, according to the Justice Department. The immigration charges will remain pending until the conclusion of all state matters.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the deaths on Feb. 6.

“So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson,” Trump tweeted. “This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!”

He later tweeted, “My prayers and best wishes are with the family of Edwin Jackson, a wonderful young man whose life was so senselessly taken.”


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