INDIANAPOLIS - A previously deported criminal alien from Mexico was indicted on Monday in federal court for illegally re-entering the United States. The indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Joel Armando Varela-Sanchez, 27, was indicted Aug. 9 in the Southern District of Indiana on charges of illegally re-entering the United States after having been previously deported as an aggravated felon.
The indictment alleges that Varela-Sanchez was convicted of transporting marijuana in December 2005. He was subsequently deported to Mexico in June 2006 as an aggravated felon. ICE agents encountered Varela-Sanchez in Hendricks County on June 16. He did not have the consent of the U.S. Attorney General or the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to re-enter into the United States.
If convicted, Varela-Sanchez faces up to 20 years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. After serving any prison sentence imposed by the court, he will be turned over to ICE for deportation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gayle L. Helart, Southern District of Indiana, is prosecuting the case. An indictment is an accusation only, and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.