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Transnational Gangs
01/02/2008

Previously deported gang member arrested in Tolleson

Suspect's criminal history includes child abuse, assault and battery

TOLLESON, Ariz. - A Mexican national with ties to a violent street gang who was previously deported four years ago is facing federal criminal charges today after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers encountered him among a group of 37 illegal aliens discovered inside a tractor trailer Sunday in Tolleson,

Sacramento Hernandez Montoya, 26, has been charged with re-entering the United States after removal, a felony violation that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. In addition to a prior deportation in 2004, Montoya’s record also includes previous criminal convictions for child abuse and assault and battery in Michigan.

"As a country, we welcome law-abiding immigrants, but foreign nationals who violate our laws and commit crimes in our communities are an enforcement priority for ICE," said Katrina S. Kane, field office director for ICE detention and removal operations in Arizona. "We are bringing all of our tools to bear against those who show no regard for our laws or our borders."

The group of illegal aliens was discovered by the Tolleson Police Department following a 911 call about suspicious activity. Of the 37 individuals taken into custody, 36 were from Mexico and one was from Guatemala. Many of the aliens were hidden behind pallets of vegetables in the back of the tractor trailer. Montoya was the only violent criminal identified among the group. The remaining foreign nationals have already been removed from the country or have been placed in removal proceedings.

-- ICE --