Illegal Immigrant Charged Over Hit-And-Run Crash That Killed Advisor To Democratic Senator
UNITED STATES - MARCH 6: Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., conducts a news conference after the senate luncheons in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. Sens. Tina Smith, D-Minn., left, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., also appear.
Credit: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

An illegal immigrant has been charged over a car crash that killed an advisor to Democratic Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto earlier this month. 

The suspect, 18-year-old Elmer Rueda-Linares, was charged by police with failing to stop at the scene of an accident after a crash at 4:30 a.m on April 6 in Reno led to the death of 38-year-old Kurt Englehart, a senior state advisor to Masto. Rueda-Linares was first charged by police with felony hit-and-run, according to the Reno Gazette Journal. 

According to the Department of Homeland Security, Rueda-Linares illegally entered the United States in March 2021. 

“Rueda entered the United States March 12, 2021, at or near the Rio Grande City, Texas, Port of Entry without inspection by an immigration official,” DHS told the Reno Gazette Journal. “United States Customs and Border Protection arrested him, and he was later released on his own recognizance June 22, 2021.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed an immigration detainer on Rueda-Linares on April 8. The suspect is currently behind bars at the Washoe County Jail with a $100,000 bail and is expected to appear before a Reno Justice Court judge Thursday afternoon. 

“The occupants who fled the scene were later located by police, and the driver arrested,” authorities said in a statement after the crash. “Impairment does appear to be a factor in this crash.”

A spokesman for Masto said that she “looks forward to justice being served and has confidence in the local police and prosecutors.”

In a statement remembering Englehart, Masto said he was a “beloved figure.”

“He touched many lives and I know almost everyone in Northern Nevada has a great story about Kurt helping them or making them laugh,” the senator said . “Kurt was a dedicated public servant, a loyal friend, and a loving father.”


Republican lawmakers have called on President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to take stronger actions to secure the border as reports of illegal aliens being involved in fatal crashes have continued to make national news. 

Earlier this year, the House voted to impeach Mayorkas over his handling of the border, which has seen record crossings in recent years. On Wednesday, the Democrat-controlled Senate, including Masto, voted to dismiss the charges.

“There is no evidence that [Mayorkas] committed high crimes and misdemeanors, so I voted to end this waste of time,” Masto said. “Republicans could have made real policy changes, but they decided to play games and killed the bipartisan border package in favor of this frivolous impeachment.”

Masto narrowly survived a challenge from Republican Adam Laxalt in 2022, winning by less than one percentage point.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Illegal Immigrant Charged Over Hit-And-Run Crash That Killed Advisor To Democratic Senator