NEW YORK — A Ukrainian national was charged Tuesday with making false statements to federal officials and illegally re-entering the United States after being deported, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
Thiodore Igorovich Galista was arrested Tuesday morning by OPR special agents without incident in New York. According to the complaint, he was removed by federal authorities on three prior occasions, most recently in 2011, following a federal conviction for re-entry. He also has a prior federal conviction for illegal entry.
Galista was charged with intentionally making false statements to OPR special agents by falsely accusing federal officers of criminal misconduct involving disobeying a judge’s order to deport him, and letting him go. Galista made these statements in an effort to remain in the United States and avoid arrest for re-entry.
If convicted, Galista faces a maximum sentence of up to five years for false statements plus, up to an additional 10 years in prison for illegal re-entry and a $250,000 fine.
The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.