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Illegal immigrant in Wisconsin charged in drunk driving deaths

A Milwaukee man faces more than 50 years in jail and $220,000 in fines following the car accident deaths of two people. Police say the man caused the accident because he was driving drunk and because he ignored a stop sign.

To complicate matters further, the man has never held a Wisconsin driver's license and police say he has been living in the country illegally. He is currently being held in Milwaukee County Jail.

The incident occurred late last month. The man had been drinking at a bar where he reportedly got into a confrontation with four other men. The man's girlfriend told police that she knew he was intoxicated but was unable to stop him from driving.

After he left the bar, the intoxicated man reportedly broadsided another vehicle at the intersection of South 12th street and West Rogers because he failed to stop at a stop sign. Both the driver and the passenger in the other car were killed during the accident.

He reportedly fled the scene, called a friend and said that he "believed that he may have killed someone and that he was not going to turn himself in and he was leaving soon for Mexico."

The friend who received that call was being interviewed by police officers at the time the call came in. Police overheard the man's confession on speakerphone and later arrested him.

He has been charged with two counts of failing to stop his car, as well as two counts of driving without a license and causing death.

The evidence against this man is quite strong. Unfortunately, his defense is complicated by the fact that he is also an illegal immigrant. In January, we wrote that Wisconsin's participation in the Secure Communities program often results in the deportation of illegal immigrants who get arrested for any reason.

If he is found guilty, he faces decades in prison and serious fines. But even if he is acquitted, he likely faces the threat of deportation.

Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel online, "Charges filed in deaths of two in car crash," Gitte Laasby, 04 May 2011

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