An illegal immigrant from Guatemala is under arrest and charged in the hit-and-run death of a motorcyclist in Omaha, Nebraska.
Juan J. Moreno-Tamayo was riding his motorcycle last week when Luis Velasquez-Ortiz, an illegal immigrant, ran through a stop sign and struck Moreno-Tamayo, killing him. Velasquez-Ortiz then fled the scene, running over Moreno-Tamayo in the process.
Velasquez-Ortiz was later arrested at his home, after police tracked his Ford Explorer registration through witnesses, who got his license plate. He has been in the United States illegally for 15 years, but used forged documents to work at a local beef company and register his car. He had been arrested twice before, including on a DUI charge. It is unclear if authorities discovered his illegal status prior to his current arrest.
Luis Velasquez-Ortiz, 42, faced court on Monday in Omaha where a judge set his bond at $2 million after deeming him to be a flight risk.
Officials said Velasquez-Ortiz has lived in Omaha for 15 years but he is in the US illegally from Guatemala. He worked at Nebraska Beef.
He is accused of fleeing the crash scene at 32nd and Q Streets last Wednesday after his Ford Explorer collided with the motorcycle.
Police said he failed to stop at a stop sign and pulled into the intersection.
Juan J. Moreno-Tamayo, the 31-year-old motorcyclist, ended up stuck under the Ford Explorer.
Velasquez-Ortiz is accused of then accelerating and running over the father of four as he fled the scene.
Moreno-Tamayo, who was wearing a DOT approves helmet, died at the scene.
Moreno-Tamayo was the father of four.
Velasquez-Ortiz was arrested the following day at his home after witnesses recorded his license plates.
During a search of his home, police and immigration officers found fraudulent state, federal and international identification documents.
He was charged with failure to stop and render aid.
Velasquez-Ortiz has prior convictions, including a DUI and possession of a controlled substance.
The vice president of the company where Velasquez-Ortiz worked told 3NewsNow that he wasn’t aware of the employee’s status.
He said they have checked the employment eligibility of all employees since 2001.
He added that he would be going through files with their HR department to determine the specific information related to Velasquez-Ortiz.
Here is local news coverage of the hit-and-run.