News and Press Releases

Foreign National Pleads Guilty to Firearms, Immigration Offenses

December 20, 2012

Emilio Barrios-Cortez, 38, a citizen of Mexico, who most recently resided in Madison, Illinois, entered a plea of guilty on December 20, 2012, to Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by an Illegal Alien (Count 1), and Entry Into the United States Without Inspection (Count 2), the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Barrios-Cortez also admitted the Forfeiture Allegation in the indictment and agreed to forfeit the firearm and ammunition which he possessed to the United States. Barrios-Cortez also agreed to the entry of a Judicial Order of Removal, which will require him to be deported following the service of his sentence.

Barrios-Cortez faces a possible sentence of up to ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and up to three years of supervised release on Count 1, and not more than six months in prison, a $5000 fine, and a $10 special assessment on Count 2.

Barrios-Cortez was arrested on August 23, 2012, when federal agents went to a residence in Madison to attempt to arrest two individuals who had been charged as a result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The OCDETF initiative is designed to bring federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and resources together to identify, target and dismantle large national and international drug trafficking organizations. Agencies participating in that investigation included the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), U.S. Marshal Service, the Granite City Police Department, Fairview Heights Police Department, the Collinsville Police Department, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the St. Louis County (Missouri) Police Department, the St. Charles County (Missouri) Sheriff’s Department, and the Nebraska State Patrol. Although those two individuals were not located at that time, agents did locate a sawed-off shotgun, which further investigation revealed had been possessed by Barrios-Cortez. In addition, according to the Stipulation of Facts filed with the Court at the time of the plea, Barrios-Cortez admitted to agents that he was an illegal alien who entered the country in October 2002 near Douglas, Arizona.

This case has been assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Randy G. Massey.











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