Honduran Man Charged In Alien Smuggling Case
BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted a Honduran man for transporting illegal aliens in the United States and for illegally re-entering the country after having twice been deported last year, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr.
The indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges ALLAN GUALBERTO MEJIA-PONCE, 34, with transporting illegal aliens on May 17 and with aggravated illegal re-entry after deportation. Mejia-Ponce was deported from the United States on Feb. 13, 2012, and July 24, 2012. The indictment also charges five other people with illegal re-entry after deportation.
“At the time of his arrest, Mejia-Ponce, who previously had been deported from the United States, was transporting 14 individuals who were also unlawfully present in the United States,” Vance said. “Trafficking people across borders and within the United States violates the laws of this country. We are committed to ending this trafficking,” she said.
Indicted along with Mejia-Ponce for illegal re-entry after deportation are:
NELSON LIMA-ARANA, 20, of Guatemala, previously deported Feb. 17; YOLOXOCHITI CASTRO-ANGELES, 21, of Mexico, previously deported April 12; JESUS TORRES-PAREDES, 21, of Mexico, previously deported Feb. 28; JOSE ARIEL GUEVARA-RUIZ, 27, of El Salvador, previously deported Jan. 18; MIGUEL ANGEL RUIZ-GUEVARA, 26, of El Salvador, previously deported March 12, 2006, and Jan. 20, 2010.
The maximum sentence for transporting illegal aliens is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum sentence for aggravated illegal re-entry after deportation is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
HSI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael W. Whisonant Sr. is prosecuting.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.