AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Immigration officials are investigating a DUI suspect in a deadly crash that killed an Aurora teen on Monday night.
Ever Olivos-Gutierrez, 40, appeared in Arapahoe County Court Wednesday morning. He’s facing several charges, including first-degree murder.READ MORE: Denver's Public Art Program Search Underway For Colorado Convention Center Expansion Project
The revelation that he has been in the U.S. illegally for at least 10 years is raising a lot of questions.
“This is a huge problem. People are being killed in this state as a result of lax enforcement of the law,” said former Republican congressman and candidate for governor Tom Tancredo.
According to the arrest affidavit, Olivos-Gutierrez’s blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit for a DUI. He also may have been going more than 80 miles per hour and ran a red light at the time of the crash that killed 17-year-old Juan Carlos Dominguez-Palomino of Aurora.
Police in Aurora confirm they never called immigration officials and told CBS4 reporter Howard Nathan, “We don’t have the ability to check someone’s legal status.”
Olivos-Gutierrez was also arrested on DUI charges in Douglas County in 2000 and El Paso County in 2001, Aurora police said. He was ticketed for driving without a license in the city in 2002.
“I guarantee you the facts of this case and all the others that this guy should have been turned over to ICE,” said Tancredo.
Tancredo said according to his sources at ICE, local authorities never called them about Olivos-Gutierrez.READ MORE: Rep. Jason Crow Wants Bill That Would Let Victims Sue Gun Manufacturers And Dealers For Illegal Use Of Firearms
One state lawmaker believes drunk driving crashes are a growing problem.
“One hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives in the State of Colorado due to people driving under the influence,” said Rep. Mark Waller, a Republican representing Colorado Springs.
Waller is supporting a bill that would turn a third DUI into a felony instead of a misdemeanor.
“That means if you get your first DUI or 10th DUI the maximum punishment you can suffer is one year in jail. That’s not enough incentive to get people to stop driving drunk,” said Waller.
Changing the charge to a felony would put a drunk driver in jail for up to six years.
Tancredo argues it was a failure of police and courts that allowed Olivos-Gutierrez, a habitual drunk driver, to remain in Colorado.
“When you don’t do your job and these kinds of things happen, then I do not understand how you can not be held somewhat accountable, not just politically but morally,” said Tancredo.MORE NEWS: GadellNet Consulting Services Bringing 55+ Jobs To Denver
ICE sent this statement to CBS4 about Olivos-Gutierrez: “Our records show that ICE had been informed of his criminal arrest in Dec. 2007. However at the time ICE was notified of this arrest, Mr. Olivos-Gutierrez was not in local custody so that he could be eventually transferred to ICE.”