Suspect wanted by ICE released on low bond and without GPS Monitor

DENVER -- A $25,000 bond might sound low for a suspect charged with vehicular homicide, but an investigation found it's hardly rare.

The issue comes in light of Ivan Zamarripa-Castaneda posting bond on Saturday, less than a week after he was charged with vehicular homicide.

He's suspected of driving drunk on Interstate 70 just before midnight on March 3 and killing another driver, identified as 57-year-old John Anderson of Lone Tree.

Records provided by the Denver District Attorney's Office show 20 people have been charged with vehicular homicide in Denver since 2016.

Of those, 15 were originally given a $50,000  bond but five received lesser bonds. Six of the 15 who were given the standard $50,000 bond were later able to get their bonds reduced.

What makes Zamarripa-Castaneda's bond stick out is the fact Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed a detainer request on him that was ignored by the Denver Sheriff's Department.

John Anderson

The sheriff's department said it doesn't believe detainers are legally enforceable without a signed warrant from a judge.

The sheriff's department said it is willing to alert ICE when an undocumented immigrant has posted bond so it can send its officers to apprehend the suspect before he or she leaves jail.

In the case of Zamarripa-Castaneda, the bonding process took about 10 hours, which would normally give ICE plenty of warning to pick up the suspect it is seeking.

But Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman admits the department didn't notify ICE until 6:33 p.m. on Saturday, more than an hour after Zamarripa-Cataneda was released at 5:26 p.m.

In addition, prosecutors only requested Zamarripa-Castaneda wear a SCRAM device if he were to post bond, based on a recommendation from pre-trial services. A SCRAM device detects alcohol.

Zamarripa-Castaneda is not allowed to drink alcohol as a bond condition because he is suspected of being under the influence at the time of the deadly crash.

But the SCRAM device will only notify law enforcement if it detects he's been drinking alcohol. It's not a GPS device that can track his movements.

A spokesman for Denver District Attorney Beth McCann had no comment when asked why prosecutors didn't seek a GPS ankle monitor for Zamarripa-Castaneda on Friday when he was last in court.

A woman refused to open the door at what is believed to be Zamarripa-Castaneda's residence. But she said through the door that Zamarripa-Castaneda was not on the run and would show up at his next court appearance April 2.

William Ellenburg with B & E Bail Bonds said he would never write a bond for Zamarripa-Castaneda because he consider him such a high flight risk.

"The charge homicide, it doesn’t matter whether it’s vehicular homicide, manslaughter, it doesn’t matter, it’s the fact that somebody died and that he has every reason to run," Ellenburg said.

William Ellenburg with B & E Bail Bonds.

But Rosalie Montoya of Reliable Bail Bonds did write him a bond and said she wasn't worried about Zamarripa-Castaneda skipping his preliminary hearing.

"I know I’m going to be out $25,000 (if he doesn't show). ... I've been in business successfully for 23 years so I know how to operate my business," Montoya said.

Montoya said Zamarripa-Castaneda's co-signer offered collateral, though Montoya wouldn't specify what it was.

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