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Enforcement and Removal

Criminal alien sentenced to more than 7 years for illegal re-entry

MEDFORD, Ore. — A career criminal and habitual border violator encountered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) was sentenced Tuesday to 87 months in federal prison for illegally entering the United States after being deported.

Sergio Ramos-Lopez, 46, a Mexican national who most recently lived in the Bend area, pleaded guilty to the illegal reentry charge last September. According to court documents, Ramos-Lopez has been deported seven times since 1988. Prosecutors say that throughout his time in the U.S., he continually engaged in serious criminal conduct, pointing to his history of drug trafficking and violent crimes – including a 14-year prison sentence in California for second degree robbery and his most recent run-in with Oregon authorities for trafficking methamphetamine.

Ramos-Lopez was identified by ERO officers working under ERO's Criminal Alien Program (CAP) in February 2013 while he was being held at the Deschutes County Jail in Bend on local charges. After an exhaustive review of his record revealed multiple deportations and a serious criminal history, ERO officers forwarded his case to federal prosecutors.

"This defendant is a particularly egregious offender who has proven to be a danger to society," said Nathalie Asher, field office director for ERO Seattle, who oversees Oregon enforcement. "ICE places the highest priority on targeting criminal aliens who we know pose a threat to public safety."

CAP identifies potentially deportable aliens incarcerated in jails and prisons throughout the United States. CAP officers interview and review inmates' biographical information. Although ERO initiates removal proceedings against criminal aliens through CAP, these individuals may remain in prison or jail to complete their criminal hearings or sentences. Under CAP, ERO uses a risk-based approach to make determinations about the detention and arrest of criminal aliens, with priority given to cases involving individuals deemed to be a security or public safety threat.

This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon.