Illegal Immigrant Involved in Deadly Hit-and-Run Had Violent History

( – An illegal immigrant involved in a deadly hit-and-run in Maryland had a record of committing violent offenses, including a stint in federal prison, according to Maryland authorities.

The immigrant in question is 42-year-old Gilver Zelaya-Diaz, whom police arrested due to his involvement in a deadly hit-and-run that occurred in April. Shortly after Zelaya-Diaz’s arrest, authorities discovered the immigrant’s lengthy history of criminal offenses, including violent crimes related to assault, and possession of illegal narcotics.

Zelaya-Diaz first entered the United States in 2019 and quickly received multiple charges for his involvement in many illegal activities. Zelaya-Diaz’s criminal record includes charges relating to his unlawful use of a car, robbery, assault, and intent to distribute illicit narcotics. Zelaya-Diaz eventually drew the attention of federal authorities, who had the illegal immigrant incarcerated in a federal prison. Authorities released Zelaya-Diaz in 2023 but arrested him again after he allegedly drove a vehicle that struck and killed Jacques Price, a 26-year-old Maryland resident.

During the time of the accident, Price was riding his skateboard across a Maryland street, where Zelaya-Diaz allegedly drove into him, killing him almost instantly. Zelaya-Diaz did not have a license at the time of the accident, and prosecutors claim he immediately fled the scene after hitting Price. Authorities failed to find Zelaya-Diaz in the hours immediately following the hit-and-run. Eventually, investigators discovered his vehicle using various databases to find information about the car used in the hit-and-run.

Although Zelaya-Diaz isn’t an American citizen, Maryland prosecutors have argued against deportation and demanded that he remain in custody until he stands trial for Price’s death. When explaining the reasoning for keeping Zelaya-Diaz in American custody, prosecutors pointed out Zelaya-Diaz’s failure to show up to past court dates, along with Zelaya-Diaz’s various aliases he could use to avoid law enforcement if deported from the United States. While the judge overseeing Zelaya-Diaz’s hit-and-run case hasn’t decided if the immigrant will remain in the United States, deportation seems unlikely given the severity of the offense.

Price’s family praised law enforcement for investigating the accident and apprehending Zelaya-Diaz. The family has also set up a memorial for Price, where the accident occurred, to commemorate the skateboarder. Price was a father, and is survived by his parents and children.

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