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Enforcement and Removal
11/30/2011

El Salvadoran national facing state murder charges sentenced to more than 3 years in prison for illegally reentering the United States

BALTIMORE — A Maryland man was sentenced earlier today to federal prison for illegal re-entry into the United States following removal for the commission of an aggravated felony following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Frederick Police Department. He is now facing state murder charges after being deported in 2009 following a felony conviction in Frederick County, Md., for attempted armed robbery.

Jose Reyes Mejia-Varela, 20, a citizen of El Salvador illegally residing in Frederick, Md., was sentenced to 39 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Ellen B. Hollander. His prison sentence is to be followed by three years of supervised release, for illegal re-entry into the United States following removal for the commission of an aggravated felony.

On Feb. 4, 2008, Mejia-Varela was arrested by Frederick Police Department officers and subsequently pleaded guilty in Frederick County to attempted armed robbery. He was sentenced to five years in prison. On June 5, 2009, Mejia-Varela was removed to El Salvador after his release from state custody.

On March 30, 2011, Frederick police officers interviewed Mejia-Varela in connection with a homicide investigation. During the course of his interview, ICE HSI agents determined that he was a previously deported alien and took him into federal custody. Mejia-Varela had re-entered the United States at some point between his deportation on June 5, 2009 and March 30, 2011.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney P. Michael Cunningham.