NYSSA — Immigration officials paid a visit to the Nyssa Police Department on Wednesday afternoon after learning about one of the suspects in an alleged shooting on Monday.
Local authorities are on the lookout for two men following the incident. The two suspects are Ricardo Medrano, 44, of Nyssa, and Juan Miguel “Michael” Medrano, 21, of Ontario. They are both facing charges of attempted murder, attempted assault in the first degree, reckless endangerment and unlawful discharge of a firearm, according to a news release from Nyssa Police Department.
However, if Immigrations and Customs Enforcement picks up Ricardo Medrano on a detainer, it is likely he would never face charges locally, as he would have to go before a federal immigration judge.
According to Nyssa Police Chief Raymond Rau, ICE officials showed Nyssa Police officials a detainer warrant for Ricardo Medrano from 2017, which had aggravated assault attached to it.
“He was here illegally, and could be exported without charges,” Rau said.
ICE officials wanted to give local law enforcement personnel a heads up about the detainer, Rau said, adding that they also mentioned Medrano was released from the Malheur County Jail with that federal detainer in 2017.
Malheur County Undersheriff Travis Johnson confirmed that Medrano was booked overnight on Feb. 22, 2017 for contempt of court.
He added, as far as a federal detainer goes, the 9th Circuit Court has said those are not valid to hold someone on or alert federal authorities. This is because a couple of Oregon counties got sued for holding illegal immigrants on only a detainer.
However, Johnson said, if there was a warrant from ICE, local officials could hold the suspect, as well as alert them.
“After the lawsuits, it’s pretty hard for us to want [to hold someone on a detainer], as they set a precedence,” the undersheriff said.
According to a news release, the shooting occurred at 3:18 p.m. Monday on Good Avenue near South Second Street.
According to the release, witnesses at the scene described a silver Chevrolet Tahoe with Oregon plates, occupied by two males, that swerved in front of a light brown Chevrolet Ventra that was occupied by a female driver and a male passenger.
The release states that the passenger of the Tahoe discharged one round from a 9mm handgun that struck the passenger side of the van before speeding off. The van also left the scene, traveling eastbound on Good Avenue. Officers recovered one 9mm shell casing at the scene.
Officers were also able to obtain video of the incident from security cameras and identified the vehicle owners, who are married.
Rau said officials are moving forward today with getting a warrant to search the Tahoe, but are still waiting for both the district attorney and a judge to sign off on that.
Officers later observed the two vehicles at a residence on Park Avenue, but were unable to make contact as the occupants had already left. Malheur County Sheriff’s Office’s SERT team aided in the effort.
According to the release, officers later made contact with witnesses, who identified both suspects.