MADISON, Wis. — A convicted drug trafficker from Mexico who had been previously deported was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in federal prison for illegally re-entering the United States.
This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney John W. Vaudreuil, Western District of Wisconsin. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Jose Santiago-Cruz, 38, of Oaxaca, Mexico, was sentenced June 23 by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to 30 months in federal prison for illegally re-entering the United States after having been deported, which is a felony. Santiago-Cruz pleaded guilty to the charge April 27.
Santiago-Cruz first entered the United States in 1990. In 1997, he was convicted in Wake County, North Carolina, of cocaine trafficking and sentenced to 35 to 42 months’ imprisonment. He was deported to Mexico in July 2000 after he completed his prison sentence.
Between July 12 and Aug. 18, 2013, Santiago Cruz was arrested and convicted three times in Taylor County, Wisconsin, for drunken driving. Following his convictions, he became a fugitive. He was arrested in 2015 and subsequently began serving his sentence for the DUIs. In February 2016, he was indicted on the federal charge for illegally re-entering the United States after being deported.
Santiago-Cruz will be deported again after he completes his latest prison sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Pfluger, Western District of Wisconsin, prosecuted this case.