Undocumented immigrant charged in 3 Sutter County DUI deaths now faces federal gun counts

Ismael Huazo Jardinez was booked into Sutter County Jail on suspicion of DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He posted $300,000 bail on Sunday.
Ismael Huazo Jardinez was booked into Sutter County Jail on suspicion of DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He posted $300,000 bail on Sunday. Sutter County Sheriff's Office

A Mexican citizen who was in the United States illegally when he allegedly crashed into a Sutter County mobile home and killed three people has been indicted on weapons charges by a federal grand jury.

Ismael Huazo-Jardinez, who already is facing state manslaughter and drunken driving charges, was indicted Thursday on two charges of being an alien in possession of firearms while being in the country illegally, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott announced.

Huazo-Jardinez, 33, is accused of failing to negotiate a curve while speeding northbound on State Route 113 the night of May 4 and crashing into a mobile home.

Three members of the same family, Jose Alberto Pacheco, 38; Anna Grisalda Pacheco, 34, and their 10-year-old son, Angel, were killed in the crash. The Pachecos’ 11-year-old daughter was seriously injured but survived.

“Officers at the scene found Ismael Huazo-Jardinez and his brother, Hugo Huazo-Jardinez, being detained by members of the local community,” federal court filings say. “The community members indicated to officers that Hugo Huazo-Jardinez had arrived at the scene not long after the accident and tried to remove his brother...from the damaged vehicle through the sunroof.

“Witnesses reported that the two brothers had appeared to be trying to flee the scene and a crowd of local residents had converged on them, preventing their escape.”

Huazo-Jardinez was described in court filings as “severely impaired,” with a blood-alcohol content of .122 percent, far above the .08 BAC legal limit.

He originally was released from custody on $300,000 bail, but subsequently was detained by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

A federal criminal complaint was filed in Sacramento against Huazo-Jardinez on May 31 after authorities determined he may have had access to two weapons, court documents say.

The first was discovered May 8, four days after the crash, when California Highway Patrol investigators went to a Marysville towing operation where Huazo-Jardinez’ 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche was being held after the crash, court documents say.

There, they found an unloaded Springfield Armory XD pistol in the vehicle’s center console and subsequently determined that it had been reported stolen in Boise, Idaho, on Dec. 29, 2017, court filings say.

Authorities later searched Huazo-Jardinez’ home and found a bag containing a 9 mm handgun and an ammunition pouch, court documents say.

That handgun was registered to an owner in Colusa County and authorities believe it was stolen but never reported as missing, the court documents say.

Authorities also found $12,000 in cash, more than two dozen cellphones, a bag packed with clothing and Huazo-Jardinez’ Mexican passport, leading authorities to surmise Huazo-Jardinez “had prepared to leave the country around the time he was arrested.”

He is currently being held in the Sacramento County jail without bail.

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Sam Stanton has worked for The Bee since 1991 and has covered a variety of issues, including politics, criminal justice and breaking news.