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Illegal Alien Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Re-entry After Removal

From:  News Release   8/14/18   GCN

Gulfport, Miss. – Joaquin Luna-Cijeros, age 27, a citizen of Mexico, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden, to the crime of unlawful re-entry by an alien after removal, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, and Jere T. Miles, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans.

In May, 2018, a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) confidential informant identified Luna-Cijeros as an alien who was illegally present in the United States and who had been previously removed. The confidential informant told officials that Luna-Cijeros was working as a kitchen worker at Juan Tequila’s Restaurant in Saucier, Mississippi. Based on this information, HSI began an investigation which revealed that Luna-Cijeros was living in Long Beach, Mississippi, and working in Saucier.

Immigration databases revealed that on or about February 3, 2015, the U.S. Border Patrol had encountered, apprehended, and processed Luna-Cijeros for removal near Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Luna-Cijeros was lawfully ordered removed and, on or about February 4, 2015, Luna-Cijeros was verified by federal officials as having been physically removed from the United States pursuant to his removal order. At that time, he was given notice that he could not lawfully re-enter the United States for a minimum of five years, and that an unlawful re-entry could subject him to criminal prosecution.

Luna-Cijeros will be sentenced by Judge Ozerden on November 13, 2018. He faces a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He also faces being removed from the United States following the completion of any prison sentence.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs & Border Protection. Assistant United States Attorney Stan Harris is the prosecutor for the case.

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