ICE confirms suspect in stolen Maryland State Highway truck chase is in US illegally

Cesar Flavio Lanuza, the man accused of stealing a Maryland Highway Administration tow truck and leading police on a wild chase, is in the U.S. illegally, FOX 5 has confirmed. 

Federal officials have lodged a detainer on him.

It's been three days since that wild chase started in College Park, Maryland. You can still see the marks cut into the ground where the state highway truck finally came to a stop in Silver Spring. 

The suspect who's accused of stealing the tow truck, eluding police, crashing into cruisers and cars, is also wanted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

ICE's Baltimore field office director Darius Reeves confirmed with FOX 5 on Tuesday that Flavio Lanuza is from Nicaragua, and there's a detainer against him with the Montgomery County detention center. 

In the past, ICE has been critical of Montgomery County for not fully cooperating with detainers. 


Maryland police chase suspect arrested after stealing tow truck

Maryland State Police announced Saturday the arrest of a man suspected of stealing a Maryland State Highway Administration vehicle and leading police on a pursuit from Prince George's County to Montgomery County for nearly an hour Friday night.

They hope this time is different. 

"These detainers are codified in Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations as well as the INS, so these gentlemen are of interest to ICE and once the state is done with their business with him, we would like him to be brought into our custody," Reeves explained.  

The detainer filed on Flavio Lanuza is part of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations, which aims to arrest and remove individuals who ICE says undermine public safety and have broken federal immigration laws. 


Police chase stolen Maryland State Highway vehicle across counties

Police chased a stolen Maryland State Highway Administration vehicle from Prince George's County to Montgomery County for nearly an hour Friday night.

Ira Mehlman, with the Federation for American Immigration Reform, told FOX 5, that it's now up to Montgomery County Corrections officials to honor the detainer. 

"They shouldn’t be in the country simply because they’ve violated our immigration laws, but clearly, once somebody has taken that additional threat and posed a threat or danger, then the local jurisdiction in the interest of protecting their own communities should be more than willing to cooperate," Mehlman said.

FOX 5 reached out to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility to comment on when, how, and if ICE's immigration detainer on Flavio Lanuza was honored so far. We have not received a response.

ICE's field officer director says he'll be meeting with Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich at the end of the week.