News and Press Releases


January 22, 2010

Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael W. Meade, Acting Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Detention and Removal (DRO), Miami Field Office, today announced that Celestino Ramirez-Hernandez, 30, a citizen of Mexico, was indicted yesterday on charges of reentering the U.S. after having been lawfully removed, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Sections 1326(a) and (b)(2). If convicted, Ramirez-Hernandez faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

According to the Indictment and a previous complaint affidavit filed with the court, Ramirez-Hernandez was found in the U.S. on November 19, 2009, after having been removed from the U.S. on March 30, 2002. Statements made in court during a detention hearing held January 14, 2010, indicated that Ramirez-Hernandez had been convicted in 2001of statutory rape of a child under the age of 16. He was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, but was allowed to serve the sentence on probation. The defendant was physically removed from the U.S. on March 30, 2002, and was barred permanently from returning to the U.S.

Thereafter, Ramirez-Hernandez reentered the U.S. on an unknown date. Using the alias of Leonel Lopez, the defendant was subsequently convicted in 2006 of grand theft and possession of a stolen/forged driver’s license. While under court supervision, it was discovered that Leonel Lopez was actually Ramirez-Hernandez, a convicted sex offender. Statements made in court indicated that Ramirez-Hernandez failed to register as a sex offender and was convicted of this offense. While the defendant was approaching completion of his four-year sentence in a Miami-Dade detention facility for failure to register as a sex offender, an ICE DRO immigration enforcement agent and deportation officer assigned to ICE’s Criminal Alien Program (CAP) interviewed Ramirez-Hernandez. Through ICE’s Secure Communities partnership, the agents and officers ran his fingerprints through DHS and FBI databases and confirmed the defendant’s sex conviction and prior removal. Subsequently, ICE officers and agents placed an immigration detainer on the defendant to ensure he would not be released from custody. On Jan. 11, 2010, ICE officers and agents arrested him on a criminal complaint prior to the filing of the indictment.

More information on ICE’s CAP and Secure Communities Program, can be found at and

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of ICE’s Violent Criminal Alien Section (VCAS) in Miami. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Patrick.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

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