Man who pled guilty to illegal immigration in Arizona arrested in Alachua for DUI and cocaine possession


ALACHUA, Fla. – Nehemias Matias Perez, 23, was arrested late last night and charged with driving under the influence, driving without a valid license, and cocaine possession.

An Alachua Police Department officer responded at about 11:20 p.m. to a call about a car swerving between lanes on U.S. 441 near NW 151st Place. The officer reported that Perez’s car was parked “halfway in the lane of travel” on NW 151st Place and that Perez was in the driver’s seat with an odor of alcoholic beverages coming from the car.

The officer reported that Perez raised an alcoholic beverage and smiled in the direction of the officer. Perez got out of his car, then reportedly tried to urinate in front of the patrol car; he was then handcuffed and placed in the back of the patrol car.

A search of the car reportedly produced four empty containers of alcohol. A rolled dollar bill in the front passenger seat reportedly contained 0.1 grams of powdered cocaine. Perez also reportedly had powdered cocaine in one nostril and on his shirt.

Post Miranda, Perez reportedly admitted snorting one line of cocaine and consuming three Micheladas and two Modelos (“the big ones”). He reportedly performed poorly on field sobriety exercises, and his breath samples measured 0.211 and 0.213 (0.08 is legally intoxicated).

Perez has been charged with driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level and cocaine possession. He was cited for driving without a valid license (the officer reported that he has never had a valid U.S. license).

Perez has a federal conviction from 2016, and in 2020, he was arrested in Arizona for illegally crossing the border. Seven days later, he entered a plea of guilty to the charge and was sentenced to eight days in jail or time served; he was released the next day. Perez reportedly told an officer in his intake interview that he has lived in Alachua County for three years and works for a landscape services company; he provided an address in Alachua. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has indicated that they will pick him up.

Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail at $22,000 and required that Perez be fitted with a Transdermal Alcohol Detector and GPS monitor unless he is picked up by ICE.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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