NEW ORLEANS — A convicted felon Honduran national was sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison Wednesday 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 Sept. 12 in Metairie during a joint fugitive operations patrol with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.
According to court documents, Luis Misael Madrid-Romero, 42, pleaded guilty to the felony re-entry charge in federal court Nov. 15. Madrid-Romero was previously removed to Honduras by ICE in May 2011. In addition to multiple immigration violations, Madrid-Romero was convicted of felony domestic violence in California in 2002.
"Violent felons who repeatedly disregard our nation's laws and borders pose a significant threat to law-abiding residents everywhere," said Scott L. Sutterfield, acting field office director of ICE New Orleans. "This case illustrates the close cooperation of federal, state and local law enforcement to carry out ICE's main focus, which is identifying and removing violent criminals and egregious immigration law violators who pose the greatest threat to public safety." Sutterfield oversees ERO activities in Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier sentenced Madrid-Romero Wednesday to serve 46 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Weir.
In FY 2012 ERO removed 409,849 individuals. Of those, 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. Approximately 96 percent of ICE's removals in FY 2012 fell into one of the agency's priority categories – a record high.