Another tragedy, thanks to a career criminal who "needs to be here, because who else would do the jobs Americans don't want to do?!"
Immigration hold placed on driver in injury crash
Victim lost both legs from crash; husband founded Napa's Minuteman chapter
By MARSHA DORGAN
Napa Valley Register
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Federal immigration officials have asked that Napa authorities hold without bail the man charged with felony DUI and hit and run in an east Napa accident that resulted in the amputation of a woman’s legs above the knee.Francisco Pacheco, 24, is in Napa County jail on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold. ICE seeks holds on criminal suspects who the agency believes may be in the United States illegally. Such holds may result in deportation.
On Feb., 3, Pacheco, who was intoxicated, was driving his 1990 Plymouth on South Terrace Drive when he plowed into the back of Lilian Clark’s vehicle, which was doubled-parked.Clark, 38, had just finished securing her two sons, 4 and 6, in their car seats and was walking around the back of her car to get to the driver’s door. Pacheco hit the rear bumper of Clark’s car, pinning her legs between her bumper and his front bumper.Pacheco, who is on probation for a 2007 DUI conviction, fled. He was chased by Clark’s neighbors, who found him about a block away and held him until police arrived.
In addition to the current charges and the 2007 DUI conviction, Pacheco was picked up last July for misdemeanor DUI. That case is pending, according to Napa County Chief Deputy District Attorney John Goold. Pacheco had no insurance and does not have a valid driver’s license.If found guilty of the charges from Sunday’s incident, Pacheco is looking at a maximum of six years in state prison, Goold said.John Clark, the husband of the victim, has been active in the movement to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.
In 2006, Clark started a Napa-based chapter of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, a group that has observed border patrols and advocated more strict enforcement of immigration laws. He said his inspiration to form the group stemmed from the three-year effort he went through to legally bring Lilian, then his fiancé, to the United States from her native Chile.“I am passionate about people coming to this country legally. I certainly learned that with the battles I fought to bring Lili here,” he said.Clark said his wife is improving each day.“I took the kids to see her. They know that something terrible happened to their mom because they were in the car when she was hit. When we went to the hospital, she showed them she didn’t have any legs. My son asked her, ‘Why did the bad guy take your legs?’” But Lili is such a remarkable person. She is so strong. She is more worried about the kids than herself.”Dan Johnson, the Napa County Department of Corrections acting director, said when an inmate is placed on Immigration and Custom Enforcement hold, he is interviewed by ICE to determine if he is in the country illegally. If ICE, which is under Homeland Security, determines the inmate is here illegally or violated his or her visa, a deportation hearing is held.“If it is ruled the person is to be deported, the individual is sent to a penal institution in Arizona to await for transport to their native country,” Johnson said.Johnson said if the person is in custody at the jail and a criminal complaint has been filed, the deportation issue is dealt with after the criminal case is adjudicated.