News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Prosecutions continue in illegal entry cases involving those with prior criminal records

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2012


MINNEAPOLIS – In the District of Minnesota, separate charges have been filed against three Mexican nationals who allegedly entered the United States illegally after being deported as criminals. Earlier today in federal court, three individuals were charged via indictments with one count of illegal re-entry after deportation.

Christian Rangel-Morales, age 27, was charged in the first case. His indictment alleges that on April 10, 2012, he was found in the U.S. illegally after having been previously deported. His deportation followed a 2006 conviction in Ramsey County for first-degree sale of drugs. On April 10, 2012, he was arrested in Stillwater for selling methamphetamine. He was in the Washington County jail when he was identified as an illegal alien with a criminal record. That identification was made though the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Criminal Alien Program (“CAP”). The goal of that program is to locate criminal aliens incarcerated in federal and state prisons, as well as in local jails, and prevent them from being released into society by having them federally prosecuted for illegally re-entering the U.S. In some instances, federal prosecution will occur only after the individual is prosecuted for the recent underlying offense.

If convicted of the federal charge now levied against him, Rangel-Morales faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, followed by deportation. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge. This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (“ICE ERO”).

In the second case, Vicente Ruiz-Zamora, age 32, was charged with illegally entering the U.S. following deportation. His indictment alleges that on April 5, 2012, he was found in the U.S. after having been previously deported in 2007, following a North Dakota conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver marijuana. The current federal indictment resulted from his April 5 arrest in Crystal by ICE ERO for being an illegal alien.

If convicted, Ruiz-Zamora faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge. This case is the result of an investigation by ICE ERO.

In the third case, Alexis Torres-Castillo, age 32, was indicted after allegedly being found illegally in the U.S. after having been previously deported. Torres-Castillo’s deportation followed a 2009 Lyon County conviction for domestic assault. The current federal indictment resulted from his February 15, 2012, arrest, again for domestic assault. He was in the Lyon County Jail when he was identified via the CAP.

If convicted of the federal charge now levied against him, Torres-Castillo faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge. This case is the result of an investigation by the Marshall Police Department and ICE ERO.

All three cases are being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin P. Johnson. All three men will remain in custody until their current federal cases are resolved. To learn more about the CAP, visit www.ice.gov/criminal-alien-program/

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.

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