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Enforcement and Removal

Mexican national sentenced to 7 years in prison for illegal re-entry

FRESNO, Calif. – A 63-year-old Mexican national was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison for illegally reentering the country following deportation.

Jose Gutierrez-Valenzuela was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill. During jury selection in March, Gutierrez-Valenzuela pleaded guilty to a single count of illegal reentry by a previously deported alien. In sentencing Gutierrez-Valenzuela, Judge O'Neill found that Gutierrez-Valenzuela was a dangerous man and that a lesser sentence was not warranted.

According to court documents, Gutierrez-Valenzuela was deported from the United States in 1995. He had a 24-year criminal record in California that included convictions for assault with a firearm, brandishing a firearm, discharging a firearm, drug possession and drug trafficking.

"As this sentence demonstrates, we will not allow criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety to treat our border like a revolving door," said Monte LaFave, assistant field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Bakersfield. "ICE is committed to using its unique immigration enforcement authorities to ensure that our communities are protected from those who show no regard for our laws or our borders."

This case was the product of an investigation by ERO. Assistant United States Attorney Ian Garriques prosecuted the case.