Nassau County Deputy Eric Oliver was chasing twice deported Francisco Portillo-Fuentes, of El Salvador, when he was struck and killed by a vehicle.
Portillo-Fuentes was deported as recently as August of 2016 and had just ILLEGALLY re-entered the US two days before the incident that led to the death of 32-year old Deputy Oliver. Although his intent was not to kill the deputy, the fact remains that had Portillo-Fuentes not been living in the United States after being TWICE deported, Deputy Oliver would still have been alive today. Deputy Eric Oliver was also a Navy veteran who served two tours in Iraq.
According to The Florida Times-Union, the incident occurred on November 22, 2016, when Portillo-Fuentes ran from a truck that a U.S. Border Patrol agent approached at a Gate station in Yulee. Two Nassau County Deputies, including Deputy Eric Oliver, began chasing him on foot. Deputy Oliver followed Portillo-Fuentes across Florida 200 through morning rush-hour traffic but was struck and killed before he made it across the road.
Portillo-Fuentes fled the scene and was apprehended after a manhunt. He entered the United States illegally in 2008, and had pleaded guilty in December 2016 to re-entering the United States after an earlier removal. Two years is the maximum sentence allowed for the charge.
Deputy Eric Oliver followed when Portillo-Fuentes ran across Florida 200 through morning rush-hour traffic, but was killed before he made it across the road. –Blue Lives Matter
Two years is the maximum sentence allowed for illegal reentry.
The judge said that term was “certainly not greater than required. … Whether or not it’s actually sufficient is somewhat of an academic question.”
Portillo-Fuentes’ attorney had argued there had been no intent for Oliver to be harmed, but U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard said that Portillo-Fuentes was still accountable for actions that “ultimately cost a life.”
While the court’s probation office recommended six to 12 months behind bars, Howard said Portillo-Fuentes’ actions matched the kind of behavior appellate courts have considered aggravating factors.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Nassau County, FL residents to fund a statue that will be placed near the spot where Deputy Oliver was killed to commemorate his service to the local community.