News and Press Releases

Maria Guadalupe Cortez-aguilar Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on November 13, 2009, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, MARIA GUADALUPE CORTEZ-AGUILAR, a 27-year-old citizen of Mexico, pled guilty to illegal re-entry after having been deported. Sentencing is set for January 8, 2010. She is currently detained.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On October 21, 2009, CORTEZ-AGUILAR was arrested for DUI and other violations during a traffic stop in Forsyth by Rosebud County Sheriff's Office deputies. Because CORTEZ-AGUILAR had limited ability to speak the English language, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was contacted via telephone. When asked by the agent by phone as to her citizenship, CORTEZ-AGUILAR admitted that she was a citizen of Mexico.

A review of record checks and a fingerprint comparison revealed that CORTEZ-AGUILAR had been previously removed from the United States on March 3, 2005, at Otay Mesa, California. When questioned further, CORTEZ-AGUILAR admitted to having been previously removed from the United States.

Further review of immigration records did not reveal any evidence that CORTEZ-AGUILAR had received permission from the Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security to reenter the United States after having been removed.

CORTEZ-AGUILAR faces possible penalties of 2 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 1 year supervised release.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Rosebud County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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