Three Mexican Citizens Charged with Being Present in the United States Illegally
Emmanuel Lopez-Banda, 28, Juan Carlos Cano-Gonzalez, 27, and Juan Carlos Vera-Franco, 28, all citizens of Mexico, appeared for arraignment today in United States District Court in Benton on charges that they were each illegally present in the United States after having been previously removed by immigration officials, announced Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. The indictments charging each defendant were returned by a Federal Grand Jury on August 7, 2012, after the three were taken into custody by the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department on July 31st at the direction of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents following a routine traffic stop on Interstate 57 during which Sheriff’s Deputies learned that all three were illegal aliens.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.
If convicted, each defendant faces up to 2 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and 1 year of supervised release to follow their incarceration.
All three have been held in administrative custody since their arrest on July 31st. Following their arraignments, the defendants were remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal to await further proceedings.
The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, and the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James M. Cutchin.