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Enforcement and Removal

Previously deported criminal alien returned to Mexico to face gun charges

Mexican national also admits to being a member of the "Paisas" prison gang

LAREDO, Texas - A man who fled to the United States after previously being deported to Mexico in 2007 was deported again on Friday to face charges of concealing an illegal weapon. Juan Carlos Holguin-Portillo, 35, a Mexican national, was deported Feb. 11 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Holguin-Portillo was escorted by ICE ERO officers to the Lincoln Juarez International Bridge, in Laredo, Texas. He was turned over to officials with the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic of Mexico (PGR).

The investigation was initiated after PGR provided information to ICE ERO regarding Holguin- Portillo's whereabouts. In 2005, the Procuraduría General de Justicia in Chihuahua, Mexico, issued an arrest warrant for Holguin-Portillo, charging him with possessing an illegal firearm.

On Sept. 13, 2007, Holguin-Portillo was encountered in Santa Teresa, N.M., by U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Border Patrol for entering the country without inspection. During the booking process, CBP discovered that Holguin-Portillo was deported on March 21, 2007 via Nogales, Ariz. Anyone who re-enters the United States after having been previously deported commits a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The U. S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Mexico accepted prosecution of Holguin-Portillo after CBP presented the re-entry case. Holguin-Portillo was subsequently convicted, and on May 1, 2008, a federal judge sentenced him to 46 months federal prison. He was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service and taken to Leavenworth, Kan., where he served his prison sentence.

"ICE works closely with our local, state, federal and international law enforcement partners to identify, locate and deport aliens who are wanted in their home countries for committing egregious crimes," said Michael J. Pitts, field office director of ICE ERO in San Antonio. "This removal also exemplifies how our DHS partners aggressively work together along the southwest border to hold criminals accountable for both public safety and national security violations." Pitts oversees south and central Texas, which includes the following cities: San Antonio, Waco, Austin, Harlingen and Laredo.

Holguin-Portillo's deportation was coordinated with ICE's Office of International Affairs, the ICE Attaché Office in Mexico, and the San Antonio ICE Office of Chief Counsel.