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June 8, 2012

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Jury Convicts Alien of Illegal Re-Entry After 10 Minutes of Deliberation

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - Jose Ramirez-Lopez, 30, a citizen of Mexico, has been found guilty of illegal re-entry into the United States after having previously been deported, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The jury returned its verdict after less than two days of trial and only 10 minutes of deliberation. 
During trial, evidence showed that Ramirez-Lopez had been removed from the U.S. on at least two occasions and did not have consent of the Secretary of Homeland Security for permission to re-enter the United States. On Aug. 22, 2011, Ramirez-Lopez was voluntarily removed from the Los Indios Port of Entry. Later that day, he was found sitting in front of the Brady’s Duty Free Store at the Los Indios Port of Entry in Cameron County, Texas.

He had also been previously deported from the United States on July 18, 2011, after he had been convicted of a felony.

The defense claimed Ramirez-Lopez’s mere presence at the Los Indios Port of Entry was insufficient to be found in the United States. The jury disagreed and found him guilty.  

United States District Judge Hilda G. Tagle, who presided over the trial, has set sentencing for Aug. 22, 2012, at which time he faces a maximum 10-year-term of imprisonment and a possible $250,000 fine. Ramirez-Lopez has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The case was investigated by Customs and Border Protection and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Karen Betancourt and Debora Gerads.