East Hampton Resident Picked Up by ICE

Luis Marin-Castro, a 31-year-old man who was born in Ecuador and has lived in East Hampton for about 20 years, was arrested on Monday morning by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers outside Wainscott Main Wine and Spirits, where he was employed.

Mr. Marin-Castro’s family said they had received a phone call telling them he had been put on an ICE plane; its destination was not shared. They have been advised by a lawyer not to discuss the situation with anyone, they said.

Mr. Marin-Castro attended East Hampton High School. Meredith Thompson, a friend, has started an online GoFundMe page “to raise money to help support Luis’s legal expenses, while his friends and legal team fight to bring him home to his wife, two younger sisters, father, and mother.” 

“Luis has been a community member of East Hampton since he arrived with his family from Ecuador in 1997. Attending East Hampton High School and going on to graduate from Suffolk County Community College,” the online page says. In addition to working at Wainscott Main Wine and Spirits, he was employed at Nick and Toni’s restaurant in East Hampton, where, according to Ms. Thompson, he had worked his way up from bus boy to sommelier.  

How ICE deals with Mr. Marin-Castro, who is undocumented, may be impacted by his having been charged about three years ago with driving while intoxicated after crashing a 2009 Toyota through a fence on Three Mile Harbor-Hog Creek Road in front of East Hampton Town Justice Lisa R. Rana’s house.

As reported in The Star at the time, Mr. Marin-Castro, then 28, was alleged to have put his car in reverse and sped away, leaving a trail of debris.

The police report said he headed south on Three Mile Harbor Road, moving at 77 miles per hour in a 40 m.p.h. zone, and passed a patrol car headed to the scene of the crash. The police officer did a U-turn and pulled him over.

At police headquarters, a breath test was said to have produced a reading of .23 of 1 percent alcohol in his blood, well over the .18 that triggers a raised charge of aggravated drunken driving. He ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of drunken driving as well as leaving the scene of an accident, and was fined over $1,500. 

Though a spokesperson for ICE was not available yesterday, the policy of both ICE and the immigration courts is to pursue undocumented individuals based on criminal charges. An aggravated drunken driving charge reportedly crosses a threshold in terms of deportation.


With additional reporting by T.E. McMorrow