On August 1, 2010, Prince William County police arrested Carlos A. Martinelly Montano, 24, after he slammed head on into a car in which three Benedictine nuns were traveling. While Sister Denise Mosier was killed instantly, her two companions were taken by helicopter to the hospital with serious injuries.
Sister Charlotte Lange had a metal plate inserted into her right leg and Sister Connie Ruth Lupton spent four months in the hospital, with 14 broken bones.
As a result of the case, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles no longer accepts federal work authorization cards as proof of legal residence, which is how Martinelly Montano obtained a driver’s license even though he was in the middle of deportation proceedings.
Also, in August 2011, Prince William County sued the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to discover what action (if any) the federal agency had taken against the more than 3,000 illegal aliens the county had turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation.
The measure was taken after Prince William County police began noticing that the illegal aliens they arrested for various crimes and then turned over to ICE, kept showing up in their jail.
What follows is a list of a of few Montano’s offenses:
• April 2009…he was arrested for driving without a license and convicted in June.
• October 2008…he was stopped for driving 55 in a 35 mph zone, and was found to have a .17 blood alcohol level. Montano was sentenced to three years probation and his driver’s license was suspended.
• December 2007…he was arrested for being drunk in public.
• July 2007…he was charged with DUI and convicted later that same year.
Though ICE ordered Montano to be deported in March 2009, he continued to have run-ins with the law, and remained free.
According to spokesman Jonathan Perok, Prince William County Police notified ICE after both his first and second DUI arrests.
In 2010, Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of Supervisors, issued the following statement on the case:
The despicable thing is that this criminal was … handed over to ICE twice, and released by ICE twice. He’s gone out and killed a nun. That’s a perfect example of what’s wrong with immigration enforcement in this country. The blame is on representatives in Congress for being so flaccid on the issue, and they continue not to fund the deportation of illegal immigrants in this country.
In an ironic twist of fate, at the time of the fatal wreck, Montano was actually being defended by Hogar Immigrant Services, a division of Catholic Charities in the Arlington Diocese.
In February 2011, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors issued a statement on the federal government’s responsibility for Mosier’s death, a portion of that statement follows:
The County learned in August 2010, that Carlos Martinelly Montano – who is currently charged with felony murder, involuntary manslaughter and drunken driving in the death of Sister Denise Mosier – was released into the community by ICE officials knowing he was in the country illegally. This prompted the Prince William BOCS to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request into the actions by the Department of Homeland Security and ICE that led to Montano’s release. It also sparked questions and a separate FOIA request regarding what ICE has done with the more than 3,000 criminal illegal aliens that Prince William County turned over to ICE through the 287(g) program.
“The Department of Homeland Security has an obligation to the citizens of Prince William County to explain what they are doing to uphold their obligation to help make our communities safe from criminals like Montano and the other 3,000 criminals we have turned over to ICE,” said BOCS Chairman Corey Stewart. “Clearly they made major mistakes in the Montano case and don’t want to be held accountable to the public for those, but we need to know how deep these problems run. Was the Montano case an anomaly, or is this business as usual for ICE? When we turn these criminals over to ICE, it is with the expectation that they are going to do something about these criminals in our community.”
In February 2012, Prince William County Circuit Court Judge Lon Farris sentenced Martinelly Montano to 20 years in prison for the murder of Sister Denise, as well as for a host of other charges. The Bolivian national could have received up to 70 years behind bars.