NEW ORLEANS — A Honduran criminal alien convicted of felony burglary in Texas was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison July 2 after pleading guilty to a felony charge of 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 Jan. 24 in Jefferson Parish.
"This case is a prime example of ICE identifying and detaining a violent criminal and egregious immigration law violator who poses the greatest threat to public safety," said Scott L. Sutterfield, acting field office director of ERO New Orleans. Sutterfield oversees ERO activities in Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
According to court documents, David Gonzalez, 24, was convicted of felony burglary in Hidalgo County, Texas, in August 2010. He was subsequently deported from the United States in May 2011 near Laredo, Texas. Gonzalez admitted in his guilty plea before U.S. District Court Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle April 17 that he then illegally re-entered the country following removal, which is a felony crime.
In addition to his federal prison sentence, Gonzalez was ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment. Gonzalez could face additional jail time if he violates the law again while under federal supervision.
In fiscal year 2012, ERO 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 fiscal year 2008.
This figure 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.