McALLEN, Texas - A criminal alien, who had been previously deported, was sentenced in federal court on Wednesday to four years and nine months in prison for illegally re-entering the Unites States. This sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) Violent Criminal Alien Section (VCAS).
Jesus Arturo Maciass-Nevarez, 44, a Mexican national, was sentenced Feb. 9 to 57 months in prison for illegally re-entering the United States after being deported. After he completes his prison term, he will be transferred to ICE ERO and again removed to Mexico.
"Criminal aliens who illegally re-entering the United States will face criminal prosecution for flagrantly disregarding our laws," said Michael J. Pitts, field office director for ICE ERO in San Antonio. "Those contemplating re-entering the country following their deportation should think twice, because they could face a similar fate to Maciass-Nevarez."
Maciass-Nevarez was deported in 1994 after he had served 49 months in prison following his felony conviction for drug trafficking in 1991.
On Sept. 18, Maciass-Nevarez was encountered at the Hidalgo County Jail in Edinburg, Texas, after he was arrested by the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office for failure to identify himself. On Sept. 24, his case was turned over to the VCAS Unit for further investigation and criminal prosecution.
Maciass-Venegas will be deported again to Mexico after he completes his 57-month prison term. Re-entering the United States after being formerly deported is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven T. Schammel, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.
ICE's Violent Criminal Alien Section was created in February 2008 under operation "Repeat Offender" in an effort to increase deterrence and reduce future recidivism rates of violent criminal aliens. VCAS screens recidivist criminal aliens encountered through the Criminal Alien Program, the National Fugitive Operations Program, the Joint Criminal Alien Removal Task Force and the Law Enforcement Agency Response Unit. In coordination with U.S. Attorney's Offices across the country, VCAS works to prioritize federal criminal prosecution of egregious recidivist criminal aliens for felony violations.
San Antonio's VCAS was established in March 2008. Since that time, 3,362 defendants have been convicted.