COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- An Immokalee man was arrested Sunday after deputies found him asleep in his vehicle with a bag of cocaine in his lap and learned there was a warrant for his arrest in connection with a fatal hit-and-run accident in East Naples in 2005.
Accordign to the arrest reports, deputies were checking out a suspicious vehicle that was parked at 115 N. 2nd St. in Immokalee around 2:30 a.m. The interior lights and music were on inside the 1994 purple Lincoln Town car. The driver was asleep behind the steering wheel. He had a yellow bag of what deputies recognized as cocaine between his legs.
The driver identified himself as “Victor Escalante” to deputies. He also had an identification card on him with that name.
A field test performed by deputies confirmed the powdery substance inside the bag was indeed cocaine.
Deputies arrested the man and transported him to the Immokalee Jail Center for booking on charges of possession of cocaine and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.
While at the jail, it was discovered through a fingerprint scan there was a capias warrant for his arrest for leaving the scene of a traffic crash involving a death in 2005 in Collier County under the name Sinar Roblero Escalante.
Escalante was also booked on the warrant and charged with giving false information to law enforcement.
According to Collier County Sheriff’s Office reports, a 25-year-old man was working between two vehicles, a 1991 Buick Regal and a Ford F150 pickup, on Six L’s Farm Road around 8:40 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2005. Escalante, who was driving a 1986 Toyota Cressida, struck the pickup head-on, crushing Ramirez between the two vehicles.
The victim’s wife was in the pickup at the time of the accident. She told deputies that Escalante got out of his vehicle and came over to where the victim was on the ground and then ran away.
A warrant for his arrest was issued in February 2006, records show.
Deputies were unable to locate Escalante until Sunday. There were reports during the investigation that he fled to Mexico.