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Enforcement and Removal

Previously deported Mexican national indicted for illegally re-entering the US

OWENSBORO, Ky. - A previously deported criminal alien from Mexico was indicted on Wednesday in federal court for illegally re-entering the United States. The indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A federal grand jury in the Western District of Kentucky returned an indictment June 9 against Pedro Caudillo-Palafax, 39, on charges of illegally re-entering into the United States after having been previously deported, which is a felony.

The indictment alleges that Caudillo-Palafax, a Mexican national, was illegally present in the United States after he had been previously deported. 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.

According to court documents, Caudillo-Palafax was arrested by the Owensboro Kentucky Police Department in 2009 and charged with possessing a controlled substance. While he was in jail, ICE conducted a background check that positively identified Caudillo-Palafax as a Mexican national with a criminal record. Caudillo-Palafax's criminal record includes a 1998 conviction for transporting illegal aliens in the United States. He was previously deported to Mexico in April 1999.

If convicted, Caudillo-Palafax 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 Daniel P. Kinnicutt, Western District of Kentucky, is prosecuting the case. An indictment is an accusation only, and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.