ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The garbage truck driver in a July 2008 fatal collision with a bicyclist in Washington, D.C., was sentenced to 31 months in prison for illegally re-entering the United States after being removed because he was convicted of an aggravated felony.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride and Enrique M. Lucero, field office director Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Washington, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III.
"Sentences like this one are a reminder that there are significant consequences for violating immigration law," said Field Office Director Lucero. "Illegal aliens who knowingly break the law by re-entering the United States will face criminal prosecution for such blatant disregard of our nation's immigration laws."
"There ought to be a cost to coming into the country illegally," said U.S. Attorney MacBride. "For some individuals, deportation alone isn't the answer. They'll just return. That's why in these aggravated cases we need to have a credible re-entry deterrent, and that means a significant time in prison."
Marco Rosendo Flores-Fuentes, 48, of Mexico, was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison. Flores-Fuentes pled guilty to the illegal re-entry charge on Oct. 28, 2010.
In his plea, Flores-Fuentes admitted that he is a native and citizen of Mexico with no lawful status in the United States. In July 1992, Flores-Fuentes pled guilty to marijuana importing and distribution charges. After serving a 27-month sentence for those crimes, both aggravated felonies, he was removed from the United States in April 1994. Flores-Fuentes further admitted in his plea that he illegally reentered the United States approximately three or four years later.
According to court documents, Flores-Fuentes later obtained various licenses, including a commercial driver's license, from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, and each of those licenses bore a fictitious date of birth. In addition, Flores-Fuentes utilized fraudulent immigration documents to obtain employment with KMG Hauling, Inc, a Virginia-based garbage collection company. In July 2008, while driving a garbage truck for KMG in Washington, D.C., Flores-Fuentes was involved in a fatal collision with a 24-year-old female bicyclist. Flores-Fuentes was not criminally charged for his role in the collision. According to documents from a civil lawsuit regarding that collision, the defendant later lied in a June 2009 deposition about his criminal history and immigration status. The parties later settled that civil lawsuit out of court subject to a non-disclosure agreement.
On July 22, 2010, after confirming his illegal status in the United States, ICE ERO officers administratively arrested Flores-Fuentes outside KMG's office in Sterling, Va.