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Enforcement and Removal

Illegal alien sentenced to 7 years for unlawfully reentering the United States

DENVER - An illegal alien from Mexico was sentenced Friday to serve more than seven years in federal prison for unlawfully reentering the United States by an aggravated felon. U.S. Attorney Troy Eid and ICE Field Office Director John Longshore announced the sentence.

Jose Amado Diaz-Gallegos, 41, was sentenced to 87 months in prison by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lewis T. Babcock. Diaz-Gallegos was remanded and ordered to start serving his sentence immediately.

Diaz-Gallegos was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on Jan. 7. He pleaded guilty before former Chief U.S. District Court Judge Edward W. Nottingham on Aug. 29, and was sentenced by Judge Babcock on Nov. 14.

According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on Dec. 7, 2007, the defendant was contacted by immigration officials while at the Mesa County Jail during routine jail checks. He had been booked into the jail the day before for state offenses, including traffic violations and criminal impersonation. Subsequent investigation revealed that Diaz-Gallegos was a native and citizen of Mexico, and he was convicted in January 1996 in Superior Court in Graham County Arizona of possessing a dangerous drug for sale. Diaz-Gallegos was deported on April 21, 2000, and again on Aug. 10, 2006. He committed a felony by illegally reentering the United States in September 2006 through Nogales, Ariz., by walking through the dessert. He did not obtain permission to enter the country.

"Illegal aliens who commit felonies and wind up in Mesa County face serious federal prison time," said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid.

"This significant prison sentence helps send the message that reentering the United States after being formally deported is a serious crime," said John Longshore, field office director of the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Denver. "ICE's close coordination with the U.S. Attorney's Office helps put teeth into the immigration laws." Longshore oversees the states of Colorado and Wyoming.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wyatt Angelo, Dondi Osborne, and Joseph Mackey, District of Colorado, prosecuted this case.