Sunday, February 12, 2017

More Detained by ICE as Result of Executive Order (The East Hampton Star)

More Detained by ICE as Result of Executive Order 
 By T.E. McMorrow | February 9, 2017 - 12:56pm

Edras Mendez-Ventura of Northwest Woods in East Hampton, who turned 23 on New Year’s Day, has been in county jail in Riverside since his arrest on Jan. 31, unable to meet bail of $15,000 on charges of drunken driving. He was scheduled to be released on Monday, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement asked that he be detained.

Since President Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, Suffolk County has returned to the practice of honoring such requests, even though ICE rarely acts on them. The county bears the cost of the 48-hour detention period after an ICE hold is placed.

East Hampton Town police stopped Mr. Mendez-Ventura’s 2003 Nissan Altima on Windmill Lane in Amagansett for swerving across lane lines, and charged the driver with misdemeanor drunken driving after he failed roadside sobriety tests. At Wainscott headquarters, his breath test reportedly produced a reading of .13, well over the .08 level that triggers the charge.

Mr. Mendez-Ventura already has an open charge of driving while intoxicated in Southampton Justice Court, stemming from a 2015 arrest. His license was suspended after that arrest, meaning that the current charge of unlicensed driving is at the felony level. A grand jury did not indict him on the felony within 120 hours of his arrest, however, and he would have been free Monday but for the ICE action.

A Springs man facing a similar situation managed to make bail of $7,500 on Tuesday and avoid being jailed, after his lawyer advised him to call everyone he knew in order to come up with the needed amount, lest he be sent to Riverside and then detained by ICE.

Angel H. Uyaguari-Farez, 36, was arrested for D.W.I. last August; that case is still pending in East Hampton Town Justice Court. On Monday night, town police say, his 1999 Chevrolet truck turned from Windmill Lane onto Montauk Highway without signaling, and they pulled it over. According to police, the driver had an open bottle of Ronrico Rum in the cabin. “I’m going to pick my wife up at Brent’s,” he told the arresting officer before failing a field sobriety test.

With his attorney, Trevor Darrell, by his side, he was arraigned Tuesday morning before Justice Lisa R. Rana. Reading from his record, she noted that in the D.W.I. charge yet unresolved, his breath test had produced a .16 reading, while Monday night’s test was recorded at .14. Like Mr. Mendez-Ventura, he faces misdemeanor charges of drunken driving and a felony charge of unlicensed driving.

An assistant county district attorney, Richard Migliore Jr., asked that bail be set at $2,000. “He is going to need much more than that,” Justice Rana replied, setting bail at $7,500. Mr. Uyaguari-Farez told the court he was not certain if he could come up with that amount, but did so later in the day after Mr. Darrell’s warning.

A call reporting a possible drunken driver brought Sag Harbor Village police to a parking lot off Main Street Saturday afternoon, where they found John Xavier Tracy III slouched over the wheel of a 2008 Dodge Ram pickup with his foot on the gas. Two open cans of Budweiser were in the cup holders, police said.

At Division Street headquarters, the 22-year-old Sag Harbor man’s breath test reportedly produced a reading just over .08, triggering a misdemeanor charge of D.W.I. Upon searching Mr. Tracy, police said they found a pill classified as a controlled drug, leading to another misdemeanor charge, possession of a controlled substance.

Justice Rana, who sits on the Sag Harbor Justice Court bench as well as East Hampton’s, freed him without bail, due to his local ties, but with a future date on her criminal calendar.

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