Local News

Driver in Fatal Wreck Indicted on Immigration Violation

Posted June 20, 2007 7:04 p.m. EDT
Updated June 21, 2007 10:43 a.m. EDT

— A man charged in connection with a fatal wreck on Interstate 40 two weeks ago was indicted Wednesday on a federal charge of being an illegal immigrant.

Ricardo Contreras-De La Torre, 24, is being held in the Wake County Jail on a $1.2 million bond. He is charged with DWI, felony death by motor vehicle, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, no operator’s license and careless and reckless driving in connection with a June 4 wreck on I-40 near the Wade Avenue exit.

The SUV Contreras-De La Torre was driving veered across the highway median onto westbound I-40 and hit a Kia Optima driven by 54-year-old George Alwyn Smith. Smith died in the wreck.

According to a federal indictment, Contreras-De La Torre attempted to enter the U.S. illegally twice in 2004.

A passenger in the SUV, Baudel Alvarez-Casteneda, was indicted on a charge of illegally entering the country after being deported. According to the indictment, he had been deported to Mexico from Laredo, Texas, in October 2000.

Both men face a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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