Man Arrested In Car Crash That Killed Democratic Staffer Entered U.S. Illegally, ICE Confirms

A man involved in a hit-and-run accident that killed a top Democrat staffer entered the United States illegally, federal immigration authorities have confirmed.

Elmer Rueda-Linares was arrested on hit-and-run charges following a two-vehicle crash in the early morning of April 6 in Reno, Nevada, that resulted in the death of Kurt Englehart, a senior advisor to Nevada Democrat Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has confirmed that he entered the United States illegally.

“Officers with Enforcement and Removal Operations in Reno, Nevada, placed an immigration detainer April 8 on Honduran national Elmer Rueda-Linarez, 18, who is being held at the Washoe County Jail in Reno for felony hit and run causing death,” ICE  stated to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Rueda entered the United States March 12, 2021, at or near the Rio Grande City, Texas, Port of Entry without inspection by an immigration official. United States Customs and Border Protection arrested him, and he was later released on his own recognizance June 22, 2021,” ICE stated.

Immigration detainers are requests made from ICE to local and state law enforcement agencies, requesting that they be notified promptly when a removable alien is due to be released from their custody.

Impairment was suspected by authorities at the time of Rueda-Linares’ arrest.

Since his arrest, the charge of hit-and-run against the Honduran national has been changed to failing to stop at the scene of an accident, according to local media. He remains in custody on $100,000 bail.

The DCNF reached out to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, asking if they plan to honor the detainer request if Rueda-Linares posts bail, but they did not immediately respond.

Englehart served as a state senior advisor to Masto. He had worked for the senator’s campaign and her official office for the past eight years. He was 38 at the time of his death.

“Sen. Cortez Masto looks forward to justice being served and has confidence in the local police and prosecutors,” Cortez Masto spokesperson Lauren Wodarski stated to local media.




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