Isidro Hernandez-casas Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Helena, on March 27, 2009, before visiting Senior U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush, ISIDRO HERNANDEZ-CASAS, a 55-year-old citizen of Mexico, appeared for sentencing. HERNANDEZ-CASAS was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 18 months
- Special Assessment: $100
- Supervised Release: 3 years
HERNANDEZ-CASAS was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to illegal re-entry of a previously deported alien.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On October 4, 2008, a Montana Highway Patrol officer stopped near Alberton to assist some individuals fixing a flat tire on a minivan. HERNANDEZ-CASAS was the driver and there were three passengers. Because the van was not properly registered, the officer cited HERNANDEZ-CASAS and impounded the vehicle. He told HERNANDEZ-CASAS that the van would be released if proof of ownership was provided to Mineral County by October 6, 2008.
The officer suspected that the four occupants of the van might be illegal aliens, so after his encounter with them he contacted the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). An ICE agent determined that all four occupants of the van were likely illegal aliens and that HERNANDEZ-CASAS had been previously deported from the United States.
On October 6, 2008, HERNANDEZ-CASAS was arrested when he went to the Mineral County Courthouse to provide proof of ownership for the van. His fingerprints were then analyzed which revealed that he had previously been deported from the United States on July 17, 1999, through McAllen, Texas. His removal followed a conviction in 1995 for a felony in Gwinnett County, Georgia, for purchasing and/or possessing cocaine. There is no evidence in HERNANDEZ-CASAS' immigration file that he had applied for or received permission to reenter the United States with either the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security or the Attorney General.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that HERNANDEZ-CASAS will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, HERNANDEZ-CASAS does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Montana Highway Patrol.