DALLAS – The Dallas Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Office (ERO) announced Monday the sentences of eight separate cases of criminal aliens who were sentenced in March after their convictions for illegally re-entering the United States after they had been previously deported, and other aggravated felonies.
"We focus most of our resources targeting criminal aliens like those recently sentenced for re-entering the country after being deported," said Simona L. Flores, field office director of ERO Dallas. "By removing these serious criminals from our streets – and ultimately from the U.S. – we help make all our communities safer." Flores oversees 128 counties in north Texas and the state of Oklahoma.
Anyone who re-enters the United States after having been previously deported commits a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The March federal prison sentences announced April 1 ranged from 38 to 83 months.
"Our ERO Dallas officers routinely work with the U.S. Attorneys' offices in the Eastern and Northern Districts of Texas to pursue prosecution of these re-entry cases," continued Flores. "There's no more solid evidence in these re-entry cases than the criminal alien's illegal presence in the United States."
These re-entry cases are generated and investigated by ERO's Violent Criminal Alien Section, or VCAS. VCAS team members organize the data and present these cases to the U.S. Attorney's office to consider for prosecution. Following are case summaries of eight men who were sentenced in Dallas in March for re-entry after deportation:
- March 29 – A 27-year-old man from Mexico was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison. On Aug. 15, 2012, ICE encountered him after he was criminally arrested for traffic offenses. His previous criminal convictions in Dallas include: aggravated assault (2004), aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (firearm in 2008), burglary of a vehicle and theft. He was previously deported in May 2008 and September 2011.
- March 28 – A 44-year-old man from Mexico was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison. On April 22, 2012, ICE encountered him after he was criminally arrested for drunken driving. He has previous criminal convictions in Oklahoma and Texas for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute (20-year sentence, the last 10 years suspended) and drunken driving (2ndconviction). He was previously deported June 12, 1999.
- March 28 – A 61-year-old man from Mexico was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison. On May 30, 2012, ICE encountered him after he was criminally arrested for possessing marijuana. ICE identified his lengthy criminal history beginning in 1982 that lasted until 2012. His prior criminal convictions include: possession of controlled substances with intent to deliver, assault, burglary of a building, and drunken driving (second conviction). He was deported in November 2004 and December 2005.
- March 25 – A 29-year-old man from Mexico was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison. On May 31, 2012, he was encountered by ICE after he was criminally arrested for burglary. He has a violent criminal history in Texas, including aggravated robbery, unlawfully carrying a weapon, and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He was sentenced to a five-year prison term for his latest burglary conviction; this sentence runs concurrently with his re-entry prison sentence. He was deported Sept. 24, 2010.
- March 21 – A 28-year-old man from El Salvador was sentenced to 38 months federal prison. On July 31, 2012, he was encountered by ICE after he was criminally arrested for driving without a license. He has an extensive criminal history in Texas from 2001 to July 2012. His prior convictions include: theft (sentenced to four years in prison), possessing marijuana, and driving without a license. ICE deported him Aug. 11, 2011.
- March 18 – A 51-year-old man from Mexico was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison. On April 25 2012, ICE encountered him after he was criminally arrested for family assault. He has an extensive criminal history in Texas beginning in 1980 that lasted until April 2012. His prior convictions include: driving under the influence (3rd offense), carrying a prohibited weapon, possessing a controlled substance, vehicle theft and family assault. He has been deported four times between November 1998 and July 2012.
- March 12 – A 57-year-old man from Mexico was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison. On July 9, 2012, he was arrested by ICE officers. He has an extensive criminal history in California, Colorado and Texas from 1988 through April 2012. His criminal convictions include: possessing/manufacturing/selling a dangerous weapon, theft, battery on police officer/emergency personnel/with injury, burglary, aggravated assault, threatening with intent to terrorize, and illegal re-entry. He has been deported seven times, and received a 6 ½-year prison sentence following his previous conviction for re-entering the U.S. after being deported.
- March 12 – A 36-year-old man from Mexico was sentenced to 83 months in federal prison. On June 22, 2012, he was arrested in Farmers Branch, Texas, by Dallas ERO officers. He has an extensive criminal history in Texas dating back to 1994 with his convictions including: burglary of a vehicle, possessing a controlled substance, and theft. He was deported in December 2005 and July 2010.
Violent Criminal Alien Section (VCAS):
Initiated in 2008, the Violent Criminal Alien Section (VCAS) screens recidivist criminal aliens encountered through the following ICE programs: Criminal Alien Program (CAP), the National Fugitive Operations Program, and the Law Enforcement Agency Response Unit. VCAS seeks criminal prosecution to deter and reduce future recidivism rates of violent criminal aliens. In coordination with U.S. Attorneys' offices, VCAS prioritizes federal criminal prosecution of egregious recidivist criminal aliens for felony violations. Illegal re-entry after deportation is a violation of immigration law (8 USC 1326), and is currently the most prosecuted federal offense nationwide.