INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A federal immigration charge has been filed against the suspected drunk driver accused of striking and killing a Colts player and an Uber driver on I-70 on Sunday.
U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler announced Tuesday that 37-year-old Manuel Orrego-Savala has been charged with illegal re-entry of a previously deported alien.
“The defendant in this case allegedly re-entered the country illegally for the second time before he put the public safety of Indianapolis at risk and took the lives of two innocent men early Sunday morning,” said Minkler. “In April, Attorney General Sessions directed all federal prosecutors to prioritize charging aliens that illegally re-enter the country, especially if they are a risk to public safety or there is a criminal history present. Following the rule of law is the foundation of our American democracy, and my office is committed to fulfilling the Attorney General’s directive.”
Police say Orrego-Savala was arrested after crashing into linebacker Edwin Jackson and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe. During his arrest, the suspect reportedly provided law enforcement with the alias, “Alex G. Cabrera,” but Homeland Security agents soon learned his true identity was Manuel Orrego-Savala, a citizen of Guatemala.
Indiana State Police said Orrego-Savala, an undocumented immigrant who is in the country illegally, had been deported in both 2007 and 2009. According to ICE, Orrego-Savala was convicted in 2005 for driving under the influence in Redwood City, California. Additionally, he was charged with driving without a license last year in Boone County.
Orrego-Savala will remain in custody while the case is investigated by the Indiana State Police and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.
According to Assistant United States Attorney William McCoskey who is prosecuting this case for the government, Orrego-Savala faces up to 10 years of imprisonment if convicted.
Court papers show Orrego-Savala was convicted of driving without a license in 2017 in Boone County. Allegedly, Orrego-Savala used the same alias, Alex Cabrera Gonsales after Sunday's crash as he did in last year's case.
"(I'm) frustrated also in the fact that you prosecute somebody, they plead guilty to the offense and then they turn around and continue to commit it," said Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer.
Meyer called for an investigation to be opened into the identity of Orrego-Savala.
Editor's note: Federal prosecutors initially said that the suspect's last name was spelled "Zavala." During a later hearing, he and his attorney said his name was spelled "Savala." The judge ordered all other spellings to be taken off court documents.