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Enforcement and Removal

Felon deported following prison term for illegal re-entry to the USy

SEATTLE — A 30-year-old Honduran national, who recently served federal prison time for felony re-entry after deportation, was removed to his native country Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers.

Marcos Mejia-Rosales was repatriated to Honduras aboard a removal flight chartered by ICE's Air Operations Unit. Mejia-Rosales was discovered in the King County Jail in November 2010 by Seattle ERO officers assigned to the Criminal Alien Program (CAP). At that time, Mejia-Rosales was being held for solicitation to commit delivery of cocaine. He was later convicted of those charges and sentenced to nine months in jail. In addition to the drug offense, records checks revealed Mejia-Rosales had been previously deported four times and had a lengthy felony criminal record.

ERO presented his case to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which filed charges against Mejia-Rosales for felony re-entry after deportation. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in November 2011 to 13 months in prison.

"As this case shows, there will be serious consequences for those who show no respect for our laws or our borders," said Bryan Wilcox, acting field office director for ERO Seattle. "By embedding ERO officers in local jails and using tools like Secure Communities, ICE is locating and deporting more criminal aliens than ever before and our communities are safer as a result."

Mejia-Rosales served his sentence for felony re-entry at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Ore. ERO Portland officers took him into custody June 7 and transported him to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, where he was detained until his deportation this week.

Through the CAP, ERO seeks to identify potentially deportable aliens incarcerated in jails and prisons throughout the United States. This is accomplished through interviews and reviews of inmates' biographical information. Although ERO initiates removal proceedings against criminal aliens through the CAP, these individuals may remain in prison or jail to complete criminal hearings or sentences. Under the CAP, ERO uses a risk-based approach to make determinations about the detention and arrest of criminal aliens, with priority given to cases involving individuals deemed to be a security or public safety threat.