NEW ORLEANS – A Honduran criminal alien convicted of felony theft in Texas pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally re-entering the United States following multiple prior removals. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested the man April 29 in New Orleans.
According to court documents, Jose Roberto Pacheco-Alvarado, 23, admitted in his guilty plea he illegally re-entered the country following his removal to Honduras on March 12, 2012. That deportation followed Pacheco-Alvarado’s conviction on a felony theft charge in Houston in September 2011. Pacheco-Alvarado was also deported to Honduras an additional time July 1, 2009.
Due to Pacheco-Alvarado’s prior felony conviction he faces enhanced prison time at sentencing, which is scheduled for October 16 before U. S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
With the sentencing enhancement, Pacheco-Alvarado faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. He also faces removal from the country following the completion of his prison term.
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.