Blackfoot Man Guilty of Illegally Re-Entering United States
POCATELLO--Manuel Cruz-Mares, 29, of Blackfoot, Idaho, was convicted Tuesday by a federal jury of being a deported alien who returned to the United States without the permission of the Attorney General or the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
During the two-day trial, the jury heard evidence that Cruz-Mares had been deported from the United States twice before, in November 2006 and April 2007. He was found in Blackfoot, Idaho, on June 8, 2011. Cruz-Mares told agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement that he had returned to the United States in October 2007, and that he had walked across the border near San Ysidro, California. In April 2007, he had been found hiding in the bushes on a frequently used trail leading into the United States from the Mexican-United States border.
Cruz-Mares faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 29, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Pocatello, Idaho.
“The flagrant disregard for our laws by individuals who illegally reenter the United States after having been deported will not be tolerated,” said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in the Pacific Northwest. “ICE is focused on sensible, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes efforts on dangerous criminal aliens and other immigration violators who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
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