Washington State Patrol Trooper Killed by Illegal Immigrant in Drunk Driving Incident

AP Photo/Veronica G. Cardenas, File

The Biden administration’s refusal to take substantive action on the border crisis has claimed yet another victim. Only days after a college student named Laken Riley was allegedly murdered by an illegal immigrant in Georgia, a Washington State Patrol trooper also lost his life after being struck by a car driven by an individual who entered the country illegally.


The incident occurred on Saturday morning when 27-year-old Officer Christopher Gadd was on patrol in Marysville, Washington. The accused, Raul Benitez Santana, a 33-year-old Mexican national, allegedly crashed into Gadd’s patrol car after having consumed copious amounts of alcohol and marijuana.

The man accused of crashing his car into a Washington State Patrol Trooper and killing him is not a U.S. citizen, officials said Tuesday.

Over the weekend, investigators say Raul Benitez Santana crashed his car into 27-year-old Trooper Christopher Gadd and killed him. FOX 13 News obtained probable cause documents which say Benitez Santana had bloodshot eyes and admitted to drinking and smoking weed before driving.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Seattle Enforcement and Removal Operations placed an immigration detainer with the Snohomish County Jail for Benitez Santana, who is a citizen of Mexico.

The ramifications of this incident extend far beyond the immediate loss. Whenever someone perishes in a drunk driving accident, it’s a tragedy. But when it involves someone who was not supposed to be in the country in the first place, it further illustrates the importance of having a system that adequately screens those seeking to cross the border while keeping out those who might cause harm.


To make matters even worse, Santana had a long and storied history of legal troubles.

Benitez Santana entered the U.S. at an unknown time, but Seattle Enforcement and Removal Operations first encountered him in 2013, when he was arrested for failing to make a court appearance after he was accused of driving on a suspended license.

That same year, Benitez Santana was convicted of possession of marijuana and sentenced to 90 days incarcerated, but 87 of the days were suspended.

He has a history of other convictions as well, including multiple convictions for driving with a suspended license, multiple tickets for speeding more than 49 mph over the speed limit and several orders of protection for domestic violence.

Given all of these displays of criminality, the suspect should have been deported a long time ago. Unfortunately, under the Biden administration, America’s immigration and border security system is woefully inadequate to address the ongoing influx of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants into the country.

Trooper Gadd’s unnecessary death is a striking reminder of the consequences of bad policy – especially when it comes to immigration. Tragedies such as this should prompt productive conversations on border security and the need for a better immigration system. Regrettably, it does not appear the federal government is up to the task. The question is: How many more people will have to be hurt before our leaders do something about it?




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