Walworth County prosecutors have filed a drug charge against a Milwaukee man more than two years after a sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a passenger in a car with the man.
A confidential informant arranged to buy about 14 grams of cocaine from Roberto J. Juarez-Nieves Jr., 28, on Feb. 24, 2016, according to the criminal complaint filed against Juarez-Nieves on Friday. He is charged with conspiracy to deliver cocaine.
Police at about 5:30 p.m. descended upon the parking lot of Roma’s Ristorante and Lounge. As a car tried to drive away from the lot, deputy Juan Ortiz of the sheriff’s office fired two shots into the car, killing the passenger, Christopher J. Davis, 21, of Milwaukee.
The driver, Jose Lara, 33, also of Milwaukee, originally faced only drug charges from the incident. But in February of this year, prosecutors charged Lara with party to second-degree reckless homicide.
Juarez-Nieves was in the car with Lara and Davis. He was sitting in the back seat while Lara led police on a chase at speeds exceeding 100 mph, according to the complaint. The chase ended in Waukesha County.
Earlier on the day of the shooting, Juarez-Nieves told Lara he needed cocaine to deliver to “a guy,” according to the complaint. Lara then contacted his supplier, gave the cocaine to Juarez-Nieves and agreed to drive to the parking lot.
Former District Attorney Dan Necci cleared Ortiz of any wrongdoing in the shooting. Ortiz has since become a detective with the sheriff’s office
It is not clear why Juarez-Nieves was charged more than two years after the incident. District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld, who will be prosecuting the case, was out of the office and unavailable for comment.
Lara’s case is pending, but his next court appearance remains unscheduled.
Juarez-Nieves is set to make his initial appearance at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23.