, Salem, MA

August 14, 2013

Accused repeat drunken driver will not be released


---- — BEVERLY — A Beverly man who was about to be released from custody Monday, despite allegedly having a blood alcohol level nearly five times the legal limit following a crash, will be held in custody after all. That’s because Joseph Thuranira, 46, of 3 Winchester Terrace, is apparently wanted by immigration officials.

During a hearing Monday in Salem District Court, where Thuranira was expected to be released to home confinement, monitored by a Sobrietor device, a court official announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement had obtained a type of warrant, known as a “detainer,” for Thuranira.

After learning that, Judge Michael Lauranzano ordered that Thuranira remain in custody. Had he been released, he would have had to be turned over to ICE, potentially making him unavailable for trial.

Thuranira is awaiting trial in two similar cases. In the first, on May 29, he allegedly crashed into a neighbor’s parked car, sending it down a hill and into a tree. In the second case, on Aug. 3, he was arrested outside Ryal Side Liquors after police say he crashed into a car parked outside the store. In the first case, police say he had a blood alcohol level of .31; in the second, it was .38.

Because of that, prosecutors had sought to revoke Thuranira’s release in the May case.

Details of the immigration warrant were not included in the case file, but its existence was noted on the docket.

His trial in the May case is scheduled for Sept. 23.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.