Fugitive returned to Oregon after 17 years

Article author: 
Joce DeWitt
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Article date: 
Thursday, December 20, 2012
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A man sought for 17 years in connection with a 1995 fatal traffic crash in Marion County was returned to Oregon on Thursday after his arrest about a year ago on federal charges after entering the country illegally from Mexico. In January 2012, border patrol agents from the Casa Grande, Ariz., Station took a man into custody for illegally entering the United States. The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System notified agents about an active warrant for vehicular homicide hailing from 1995 in Marion County, Ore. The Marion County District Attorney’s office, in collaboration with Tucson Sector Border Patrol Agents, identified the man as Jose Luis Sanchez, 38.

At the time of the crash, Sanchez was 21 years old and lived in Prineville. Oregon State Police reported that the single vehicle crash occurred at 1:20 a.m. on Highway 22 about six miles west of Idanha. Sanchez was driving a passenger car westbound at a high rate of speed when it failed to negotiate a curve, OSP reported.

The car traveled across the highway and collided with several trees. The passenger in the vehicle, Jesus Gonzalez-Sanchez, 22, of Prineville, was pronounced dead on the scene. Sanchez was seriously injured and taken to a Portland-area hospital.

Since Sanchez was arrested he had been held in federal custody and pleaded guilty on federal charges. After he was sentenced, he was taken to Oregon for an arraignment in Marion County Circuit Court on charges related to the fatal car crash.