On Tuesday, March 13, 2018, Officers of the Delano Police Department responded to the 3000 Block of W. Cecil Avenue, regarding a traffic collision. Two occupants of the vehicle were pronounced deceased at the scene by the Kern County Fire Department and Delano Ambulance personnel. The occupants of the vehicle were identified as, Santo Hilario Garcia (35) and Marcelina Garcia Profecto (33). The Delano Police Department Traffic Division was called out to investigate the accident.
A preliminary investigation revealed the occupants of the Ford had fled from Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agents during a traffic enforcement stop in the area of W. Cecil Avenue and Hiett Avenue. The two (2) ICE agents, stated, they had been conducting surveillance at a location within the City limits of Delano. The ICE agents stated the person of interest entered the Ford pickup and left the location. The ICE agents stated they initiated a traffic stop, and the driver of the vehicle did yield. Once the agents exited their vehicles, the driver fled the area. The ICE agents indicated in their statements to investigators that they did not pursue with their lights or sirens activated; however, they did follow in the same direction.
During an extensive investigation, video surveillance was located. The video indicates that the ICE agents did have the emergency lights activated on each of their respective vehicles, following in the same direction of the fleeing vehicle. The video surveillance depicts a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed traveling West Cecil Avenue. Shortly after, the two unmarked ICE vehicles were seen traveling in the same direction with emergency lights activated.
Based on the discrepancies in the statements provided by the ICE agents, the report was forwarded to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office for review, where charges have been requested for violation of California Vehicle Code section 31, “No person shall give, either orally or in writing, information to a peace officer while in the performance of his duties under the provision of this code when such person knows that the information is false.” The review by the Kern County District Attorney’s Office is still pending.
Individuals with any information regarding this case are still urged to contact the Delano Police Department Traffic Division.
There will be NO in-camera or telephonic interviews provided. No e-mail, phones calls or inquiries will be answered. All media requests for the traffic report are to be requested, in writing, to the Delano Police Department Records Division.