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Illegal immigrant kills FBI agent and fire marshal, gets only $280 fine, not required to show up in court

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An illegal immigrant from Guatemala avoided jail after being convicted of negligent driving for hitting and killing an FBI agent and a fire marshal standing on the side of a highway.

Roberto Garza Palacios, 28, who overstayed his visa, was instead ordered to pay a $280 fine for killing Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Sander Cohen and FBI Special Agent Carlos Wolff in December, the Washington Post reported.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service

Adding insult to injury, the illegal immigrant did not even have to appear in court.

More on the fatal accident from The Post:

Wolff, an FBI agent, had crashed his car into a concrete median after reaching for his cellphone and becoming distracted while driving south on I-270, a Maryland State Police crash investigation later determined. Cohen, an arson investigator who was passing by, had pulled over to help and put on his hazard lights to warn other drivers.

Garza Palacios drove up on the scene from behind and told investigators he could not swerve right, because cars were in that lane, so he went left, not seeing the two men.

Cohen’s father is angry about the lenient outcome for the man who killed his son.

“Because the person who caused the accident really didn’t get punished, it doesn’t feel like there’s closure,” Neil Cohen told News4.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service

Turns out, Garza Palacios, whose visa expired in 2009, had a criminal record while in the U.S.

“In a 2015 case, he pleaded guilty to driving while impaired. Around that time, he also served about four months in jail after being arrested for smashing windows on about 16 cars and lighting a sofa on fire near a construction site,” The Post reported.

And Cohen wished the illegal immigrant had been deported then.

“The truth is that there are people who shouldn’t be here,” he told the NBC affiliate.

Garza Palacios may still face deportation. He was taken into custody by ICE agents and charged with overstaying and violating the terms of a work visa that expired in 2009, according to ICE officials.

Tom Tillison


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