DHS Sued Over Alleged "Cover-up" in Illegal Immigrant DUI Probe

By Ashley E. Brown
|  Saturday, Dec 4, 2010  |  Updated 7:47 AM EDT
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DHS Sued Over Alleged "Cover-up" in Illegal Immigrant DUI Probe

The death of a Benedictine nun in Prince William County, allegedly at the hands of a repeat DUI offender and illegal immigrant, has prompted a lawsuit and allegations of a federal government cover-up.

The self-described watchdog group Judicial Watch said it's suing the Department of Homeland Security for failing to disclose its information on the driver accused in the case.

That driver is Carlos Martinelly-Montano, an undocumented citizen who came to the United States from Bolivia as a child. He had two previous DUI convictions and was released from jail in 2008 to await deportation proceedings.

Authorities said he was under the influence when he allegedly crashed a vehicle into another that was carrying three nuns on Aug. 1.

Sister Denise Mosier was killed in that collision. The other nuns suffered serious injuries.

Shortly after the crash, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would launch its own investigation into why Montano was still in the country and driving, given his criminal record. DHS oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In a press release, Judicial Watch said it was denied the results of the DHS investigation into Montano's case. The group is now suing DHS under the Freedom of Information Act.

"Now we see the deadly consequences of the Obama administration's decision to fail to enforce federal immigration laws," Judicial Watch Presdident Tom Fitton said in the release. "The Department of Homeland Security's refusal to release the results of its investigation of Montano smacks of a cover-up."

In an e-mail to NBC Washington Friday, Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Matthew Chandler suggested that the answers on the Montano probe are coming but did not specify when.

"ICE will share its findings with Congress and the appropriate state and local public safety authorities once the review is complete," Chandler wrote. "Due to the ongoing criminal matter at hand, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

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