News and Press Releases

Removed Alien Charged With ReĀ­Entering U.S. Without Permission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2010

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Acting United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar announced today, April 20, 2010, that Damian Benitez‑Castro of Mexico, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of violating federal immigration laws.

The one‑count indictment names Benitez‑Castro, age 35, of Mexico, as the sole defendant.

According to the one‑count indictment presented to the court, Benitez‑Castro, an alien from Mexico, was removed from the United States on October 14, 2008, and then reentered the United States and was found in Allegheny County on or about March 8, 2010, without having applied for and received permission from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Assistant United States Attorney A. Elliot McLean, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than 2 years in prison, a fine of $250,000.00, 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.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Pittsburgh 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.

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