ATLANTA – A Jamaican criminal alien with prior felony convictions for the possession and distribution of marijuana was sentenced to more than 7 years in federal prison Tuesday for illegally re-entering the United States following a prior removal. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested the man July 5, 2012, in Atlanta.
"This case is a prime example of ICE enhancing public safety by identifying and detaining a felon who has violated federal immigration law," said Felicia S. Skinner, field office director of ERO Atlanta. Skinner oversees ERO activities in Georgia and the Carolinas.
Paul Rudolph McGowan, 41, was previously removed from the United States in October 1995 and December 2011. He illegally re-entered the country at an unknown time and was arrested by ERO officers following a tip from the public. McGowan has a lengthy criminal history in the United States, including three felony convictions for possession and distribution of marijuana.
McGowan was successfully prosecuted on the felony re-entry charge by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
Overall, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 ICE removed 409,849 individuals. Of these, approximately 55 percent, or 225,390 of the people removed, were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors – almost double the removal of criminals in FY 2008.
This includes 1,215 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,557 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 40,448 aliens convicted for crimes involving drugs; and 36,166 aliens convicted for driving under the influence. ICE continues to make progress with regard to other categories prioritized for removal. Some 96 percent of all ICE's removals fell into a priority category – a record high.