ATLANTA- Armando Galardo-Navarrete, 28, of Marietta, Georgia, was sentenced today to 41 months in prison for illegally re-entering the United States after having been deported. Today's sentence follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE's) Office of Detention and Removal in Atlanta.
Galardo-Navarrete was also sentenced by United States District Judge J. Owen Forrester to three years of supervised release. He will be deported to Mexico upon the completion of his prison sentence.
"Illegal aliens who knowingly break the law by re-entering the United States will face criminal prosecution for their flagrant disregard of our laws," said Felicia Skinner, field office director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal in Atlanta. "Those contemplating re-entering the country following their deportation should think twice, because they too could face a similar fate."
Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case, "The apprehension and subsequent prosecution of this defendant is but one example of the successful partnership between the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Violent Criminal Alien Section (VCAS) unit of the ICE Detention and Removal Operation's Atlanta Field Office, which reviews criminal and fugitive alien cases for federal prosecution. Since we started participating in this initiative in February 2009, we have charged approximately 55 defendants in cases presented by the VCAS."
According to the charges and other information presented in court, Galardo-Navarrete, a native of Mexico, was convicted of kidnapping in Cobb County, Georgia, before he was deported from the United States in December 1998. He was found by ICE in the Cobb County Jail on March 10, 2009, after his conviction for traffic violations under the alias name "Jose Pastra Balderrama."
ICE's Violent Criminal Alien Section was created in February 2008 under operation "Repeat Offender" in an effort to increase deterrence and reduce future recidivism rates of violent criminal aliens. VCAS screens recidivist criminal aliens encountered through the Criminal Alien Program, the National Fugitive Operations Program, the Joint Criminal Alien Removal Task Force and the Law Enforcement Agency Response Unit. In coordination with U.S. Attorney's Offices across the country, VCAS works to prioritize federal criminal prosecution of egregious recidivist criminal aliens for felony violations.
In fiscal year 2008, VCAS initiated 9,926 cases, of which U.S. Attorney's Offices around the country accepted 6,793 for criminal prosecution. VCAS generated an increase of criminal prosecutions accepted by the U.S. Attorney's Offices by 275% from the 1,808 cases accepted in fiscal year 2007. VCAS also secured 4,248 indictments and information and 2,977 criminal convictions in fiscal year 2008.
Atlanta's VCAS began working on Feb. 11, 2009. Since that time, approximately 55 defendants have been charged.
Special Assistant United States Attorney Randall W. Duncan prosecuted the case.