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Enforcement and Removal

Illegal alien sentenced to almost 4 years in federal prison for unlawfully re-entering the US after being previously deported

DENVER - A former Montrose, Colo., resident was sentenced here Thursday by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Edward W. Nottingham to serve almost four years in federal prison for unlawful re-entry of an aggravated felon into the United States. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with support from the Drug Task Force.

Salomon Renteria-Valdez, 61, was charged by Criminal Complaint on Feb. 26. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on March 12. He pleaded guilty before Chief Judge Nottingham on May 9. He was sentenced Aug. 21 to 46 months in prison by the Chief Judge.

According to the indictment, as well as the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on Jan. 24 Salomon Renteria-Valdez, a national of Mexico, was found in Montrose after having been deported on Aug. 30, 1996. Renteria-Valdez had been previously convicted in Mendocino County, California, of possessing a controlled substance for sale. He was also convicted in Los Angeles County, California, of conspiracy to sell/transport a controlled substance and attempted second degree robbery. In addition, Renteria-Valdez had prior convictions for alien smuggling (1978), and molesting children (1995).

"We've increased prosecutions on the Western Slope over the past two years, and will keep prosecuting criminal aliens here and in every part of Colorado," said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid.

"Significant sentences like this put essential teeth into U.S. immigration laws," said Jeffrey Copp, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Denver. "Aliens - especially criminal aliens like Renteria-Valdez - cannot re-enter the United States after being officially deported without suffering the severe consequences of their illegal actions." Copp oversees a four-state area, which includes: Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wyatt Angelo and Dave Conner, District of Colorado, prosecuted this case.