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Enforcement and Removal
05/12/2009

Illegal alien sentenced to 6 years for reentering the United States after being deported

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A criminal illegal alien, who was previously deported to Mexico three times, was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to more than six years in prison for illegally reentering the United States. This sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Joaquin LaFarga, aka Joaquin LaFarga-Saucedo, 47, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn, Western District of Kentucky, to 77 months in prison for illegally reentering the United States after having been previously deported. He will be deported again to Mexico after he completes his prison sentence. Reentering the United States after being formally deported is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

In his guilty plea, LaFarga admitted that on May 30, 2008, he was stopped by the Louisville Metro Police for a traffic violation. Records checks revealed that he had previously been deported from the United States on three occasions. He was last deported April 5, 2005, under the name Joaquin LaFarga-Saucedo.

A further background check revealed that LaFarga has an extensive criminal history, including a conviction in Colorado for possessing three pounds of methamphetamine, which is a felony. At the time of the traffic stop, Lafarga had not obtained the required permission from the Department of Homeland Security to legally reenter the United States.

"ICE is committed to strengthening the integrity of our country's immigration laws," said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago. "This significant prison sentence helps send the message that reentering the United States after being formally deported is a serious crime." Based in Chicago, Hartwig oversees a six-state area, including Kentucky.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mac Shannon, Western District of Kentucky, prosecuted this case. ICE was assisted in the investigation by the Louisville Metro Police Department.