Update: Jose Heredia-Martinez is currently being held in custody by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
WILMINGTON — Homeland Security agents with United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement have arrested a man involved in a recent hit-and-run, several days after he was released on bond by the Wilmington Police Department.
Jose Heredia-Martinez, 25, was involved in a hit-and-run incident on Thursday, Jan. 18 on the 3900 block of Masonboro Loop Road.
According to witnesses, a large blue or dark colored truck with a lift and oversized tires was speeding and weaving through traffic. The truck reportedly rear-ended a 2006 Acura MDX, pushing the vehicle off of the road into a ditch where the Acura flipped over two times before landing upside down. The driver of the truck did not stop, according to witnesses.
The Acura’s driver, 16-year-old Ashley High School student Julianna Askew, suffered minor injuries and was trapped in her vehicle until she said she was able to bite through the car’s airbag to escape.
Wilmington police arrested Heredia-Martinez several days later, charging him with both felony and misdemeanor hit-and-run, driving without a license and failure to yield or reduce speed. Heredia-Martinez was later released after posting $5,000 bail.
According to Spokeswoman Jennifer Dandron, the Wilmington Police Department was not aware that Heredia-Martinez was in the country illegally. Dandron did say that Heredia-Martinez did not speak English and required a translator.
According to Tammy Spicer, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Heredia-Martinez is a “citizen and national of Mexico, illegally present in the United States…Mr. Martinez currently faces local charges in Wilmington, North Carolina. In the past, he pled guilty to the offense of drinking beer or wine while driving, and also pled guilty to several other misdemeanor offenses.”
ICE arrested Heredia-Martinez on Friday, Jan. 26, and is holding him on pending local charges in Wilmington.
ICE did not specify what if any action it plans to take against Heredia-Martinez; Spicer would only say in a statement, “ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security.”
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