December 20, 2012
Amy Queen, Deputy District Attorney
A fugitive sought for 17 years in relation to a 1995 fatal traffic crash in Marion County was returned to Oregon Thursday following his arrest nearly a year ago on federal charges after illegally entering the United States from Mexico.
In January 2012, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Casa Grande, Arizona station apprehended a man for illegally entering the United States. During processing, the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) alerted agents to an active warrant issued in 1995 out of Marion County, Oregon for vehicular homicide. The Marion County District Attorney's Office worked closely with Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents to positively identify the man as JOSE LUIS SANCHEZ, age 38. SANCHEZ was wanted following an August 7, 1995 fatal traffic crash when he was 21 years of age and resided in Prineville.
According to an Oregon State Police (OSP) investigation, the single vehicle fatal traffic crash occurred at approximately 1:20 a.m. on Highway 22 about six miles west of Idanha near milepost 60. A passenger car driven by SANCHEZ was westbound at a high rate of speed when it failed to negotiate a curve, traveled across the highway and struck several trees. Right front passenger JESUS GONZALEZ-SANCHEZ, age 22, from Prineville, was pronounced deceased at the scene. JOSE LUIS SANCHEZ was seriously injured and treated at a Portland-area hospital.
Since being taken into custody, SANCHEZ was held in federal custody and subsequently pled guilty on federal charges. After sentencing, he was transported to Oregon for a pending arraignment in Marion County Circuit Court on charges related to the fatal traffic crash.