Local News

Illegal Immigrant Released From Hospital After I-540 Wreck

Posted November 6, 2007
Updated December 5, 2007

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— An illegal immigrant hospitalized for more than a week following a wreck on Interstate 540 was released from the hospital over the weekend.

Eblin Fabiel Ocampo-Cruz, 22, was taken to the Orange County Jail to face charges in connection with prior violations he allegedly committed in the county.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol charged him with driving while impaired, reckless driving, failure to reduce speed and possession of a revoked license in connection with the Oct. 25 wreck on I-540 between Creedmoor and Six Forks roads.

Authorities said he was driving the wrong way when he caused the wreck, and he could still face felony charges in the accident.

The Highway Patrol said it is likely that Ocampo-Cruz will remain in the Orange County Jail until the charges there are handled. Authorities said they want to hold him responsible for the charges in Orange and Wake counties before the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement looks at his legal status.

ICE agents said Cruz, a native of Honduras, was charged in 2000 with being an alien in the U.S. and was ordered to be deported two years later. Because he didn't leave the country, he has been considered a fugitive, authorities said.

At the time of the wreck, Cruz was on probation for several offenses, according to court records.

In February 2006, he was convicted in Durham of DWI. A month later, he was convicted of misdemeanor unauthorized use of a vehicle and misdemeanor breaking and entering. In May 2006, he pleaded guilty to reckless driving and passing an emergency vehicle. Last October, he was charged with resisting an officer, and he was charged with possession of stolen goods in December.

Authorities said they are aware of the federal warrant against Cruz, but they said the local criminal cases take precedence over the deportation order.