Deported Honduran Charged With Illegally ReEntering U.S.
ERIE, Pa. - Acting United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar announced today, April 13, 2010, that Jose Santos Cristino Cortes‑Gonzales of Valle, Honduras, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Erie on a charge of violating federal immigration laws.
The one‑count indictment named Cortes‑Gonzales, age 36, as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment presented to the court, on or about March 21, 2010, Cortes‑Gonzales was found to be unlawfully present within the United States. Cortes‑Gonzales had been previously ordered deported and removed from the United States on December 18, 2008 and was removed from the United States on January 19, 2009. The defendant subsequently reentered the United States, and was found to be present in this country without the permission of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Assistant United States Attorney Christine A. Sanner, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of two years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and the Ashtabula Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.