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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

Monday, March 12, 2012

Buena Vista Man Sentenced For Repeated Illegal Reentry

Bernardo Israel Enciso-Mejia Sentenced To 77 Months

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA -- A citizen of Mexico who had illegally reentered the United States on multiple prior occasions was sentenced last week in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg on charges related to another illegal reentry.

Bernardo Israel Enciso-Mejia, 30, a native and citizen of Mexico living in Buena Vista, Va., pled guilty in December 2011 to one count of illegal reentry into the United States by a previously deported alien. Enciso-Mejia returned to the United States the most recent time after having been convicted of an aggravated felony. Last Friday in District Court, Enciso-Mejia was sentenced to 77 months of federal incarceration. Following his prison term, the defendant will be deported to Mexico.

“The Justice Department is committed to the strong, effective and humane enforcement of our immigration laws,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “Mr. Enciso-Mejia has illegally reentered the United States on multiple occasions and for that he must be punished.”

“This sentence should serve as a reminder that there are significant consequences for violating immigration law, especially for those with extensive criminal histories," said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Washington Field Office Director Enrique M. Lucero.

According to a statement of facts filed at the time of his guilty plea, Enciso-Mejia has previously been removed from the United States by ICE ERO on four separate occasions, including once following an aggravated felony charge of aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by an alien illegally in the United States.

The defendant was most recently arrested in Buena Vista, Va. on August 16, 2011. At the time of his arrest, agents with ICE ERO determined that Enciso-Mejia did not have the consent of the Attorney General of the United States or the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to reenter or to reapply for admission into the United States. ICE ERO found no record of the defendant ever applying for permission to reenter the United States or other forms of relief since the time of his first removal in 2003.

The investigation of the case was conducted by ICE ERO. Special Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Wright prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated April 10, 2015