Illegal immigrant accused of killing Washington State trooper in crash while intoxicated

The trooper leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter, while the suspect behind the has a long history of convictions.
L: Raul Benitez Santana, R: Christopher Gadd

An illegal immigrant admitted to smoking marijuana and drinking before he allegedly crashed into a Washington State Patrol trooper, killing the 27-year-old husband and father, according to officials and court documents.

Raul Benitez Santana, 33, had bloodshot eyes and said he drank and smoked before driving Saturday, according to probable cause documents obtained by local outlet Fox 13 News.

Trooper Christopher Gadd was watching for drivers who were speeding or intoxicated when Benitez Santana's SUV struck the trooper's patrol car, killing early Saturday morning, officials said, per Fox News

Benitez Santana is being held at the Snohomish County Jail, located north of Seattle, on $1 million bond on charges of vehicular assault and vehicular homicide, records show. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday that an immigration detainer was placed with the Snohomish County Jail for Benitez Santana, a Mexican citizen, the local outlet also reported

Immigration detainers are requests from ICE for state and local law enforcement agencies to notify the federal government as soon as possible before an illegal immigrant is released after he or she has been arrested for suspected criminal activity.

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.

Gadd, who served as a Washington State Patrol for less than three years, leaves behind his wife, 2-year-old daughter, his parents and his sister, according to Officer Down Memorial Page. Gadd's father also serves with the Washington State Patrol, and his sister is a Texas Highway Patrol trooper.

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