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Enforcement and Removal

Mexican man receives 5-year sentence for re-entry after deportation

PHOENIX - A Mexican man with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced to more than five years in prison Monday following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Jose Samaniego-Lara, 43, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Martone to 63 months in prison after his conviction by a federal jury in March for illegal re-entry after deportation.

Samaniego-Lara has been deported from the United States on three previous occasions in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Following his most recent removal, he illegally re-entered the United States in 2004 and was subsequently discovered in a Maricopa County jail last November by Maricopa County Sheriff's Office 287(g) detention officers.

Samaniego-Lara has a significant criminal history, including convictions for false imprisonment, assault and carjacking (during which Samaniego-Lara held the driver at knife point before stealing his truck). His criminal history played a factor in the judge's sentencing decision.

"Felony immigration prosecutions send a strong message to those who might be considering re-entering the country after a deportation that there will be serious consequences for their actions," said Katrina S. Kane, field office director for ICE Detention and Removal Operations in Arizona.

Samaniego-Lara was identified for prosecution by the Violent Criminal Alien Section (VCAS) unit of the ICE Detention and Removal Operation's Phoenix Field Office, which reviews criminal and fugitive alien cases for federal prosecution. Since October 1, 2008, the unit's investigations have resulted in 257 reentry convictions.