Kern County District Attorney’s Office will not file charges against ICE agents


District Attorney Lisa Green announced the district attorney’s office will not file charges against ICE agents involved in a deadly crash last month in Delano.

The Delano Police Department requested charges be filed against Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents accused of pursuing a car which ultimately crashed, killing a husband and wife. Delano police said ICE agents lied during the investigation.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Ramiro Sanchez and Dimas Benitez, stopped Hilario Garcia and Marcelina Garcia Perfecto on March 13 in Delano, according to Delano Police Department. The couple initially stopped, but took off as ICE agents got out of an unmarked car, police say.

United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez said, “When they learned they were ice agents, because of their legal status, they became very scared and as a result they took off and eventually had a crash here on Cecil Avenue.”

According to the investigation report, ICE agents said they didn’t pursue the couple’s car after the initial stop. But Delano Police Department said surveillance video along the route between the stop and the scene of the crash, tells a different story.

The deportation officers told police they only followed the couple for about 15 seconds, but they are seen pursuing it a mile from the stop, according to Delano police’s video.

Green’s office determined whether to file charges against the agents for giving false information.

In response to the district attorney’s announcement, the UFW released the following statement:

“Santos Hilario and Marcelina did not get justice today from the Kern County district attorney, and they deserve it.

They were farm workers who worked hard to provide for their family. They and their six orphaned children are just the latest casualties of the federal government’s recent targeting of hardworking immigrant farm workers who feed all of us.”

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