News and Press Releases

GEORGE E. B. HOLDING

CONTACT: 919/856-4530

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WEDNESDAY - June 20, 2007

ILLEGAL ALIENS INDICTED

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that a federal grand jury has returned true bills of indictment against RICARDO CONTRERAS-DE LA TORRE, BAUDEL ALVAREZ-CASTANEDA, and HECTOR MEJIA-OCAMPO.

RICARDO CONTRERAS-DE LA TORRE has been charged with being found illegally present in the United States on June 5, 2007, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1325(a)(2). According to the Indictment, CONTRERAS-DE LA TORRE had attempted to illegally enter the United States on two prior occasions in 2004. If proven, these previous alleged attempts at illegal entry into the U.S. would enhance the maximum sentence to 2 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

BAUDEL ALVAREZ-CASTANEDA has been charged with illegal entry into the United States after having been deported, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1326. According to the Indictment, ALVAREZ-CASTANEDA was previously deported from the United States on October 28, 2000, at Laredo, Texas to Mexico, then re-entered the country without knowledge or permission of United States authorities at an unknown time and place, and was found here on June 5, 2007. If found guilty, ALVAREZ-CASTANEDA faces a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

According to previous news accounts, on June 4, 2007, CONTRERAS-DE LA TORRE and ALVAREZ-CASTANEDA were the driver and passenger, respectively, of a vehicle that crossed the median of Interstate 40 and collided with two other vehicles resulting in the death of a Cary man. ALVAREZ-CASTANEDA was apprehended by ICE agents the following day at Wake Med North Healthplex in Raleigh. According to previous news accounts, CONTRERAS-DE LA TORRE has been charged by State authorities with several offenses related to the accident.

Investigation of the case was conducted by Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Assistant United States Attorney John Bowler will be prosecuting the case for the government.

In an unrelated case, MEJIA-OCAMPO, is charged with being an illegal alien in possession of firearms, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 922(g). According to the Indictment, MEJIA-OCAMPO possessed a Smith and Wesson .357 revolver and a Mossberg 20-gauge shotgun.

According to the Criminal Complaint previously filed, on May 10, 2007, an undercover agent with the Duplin County Sheriff’s Department went to 1179 West Charity Road, Rose Hill, North Carolina to investigate the activities of a possible prostitution ring that employed illegal aliens at that location. The undercover agent met with MEJIA-OCAMPO, the keeper of the house, and negotiated the price for prostitution services.

The undercover agent then gave MEJIA-OCAMPO a pretextual reason for leaving the residence. On May 11, 2007, the Duplin County Sheriff’s Department and agents with the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement executed a search warrant at 1179 West Charity Road, Rose Hill, North Carolina. During the search MEJIA-OCAMPO was at the residence. Several items relating to prostitution activities were discovered and seized at the residence. In MEJIA-OCAMPO’S bedroom, agents found a loaded Smith and Wesson .357 revolver and a pistol grip Mossberg 20 gauge shotgun. The Complaint further alleges that, MEJIA-OCAMPO advised agents that he was a citizen of Honduras, that he was in the United States illegally, and had entered the United States in 1991.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Duplin County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jane Jackson is prosecuting the case for the government.

U.S. Attorney Holding stated, “The United States Attorney’s Office will vigorously prosecute immigration law violators.”

An Indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A trial date has not yet been set.

 

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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