Citizen of Mexico again Charged with Illegally Reentering U.S.
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that, on April 19, 2018, a federal grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment charging JOSE DEL CARMEN HERNANDEZ HERNANDEZ, 42, a citizen of Mexico last residing in Hartford, with one count of illegally reentering the U.S. after being deported.
HERNANDEZ appeared today before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven and entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.
As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, between 1999 and 2009, HERNANDEZ, who has never held legal status in the U.S., sustained multiple state convictions, including convictions for assault, threatening and operating under the influence. In April 2009, he was removed to Mexico. HERNANDEZ unlawfully reentered the U.S., returned to Connecticut and was subsequently convicted in state court on charges of evasion with injury, and criminal mischief. After he was arrested in Hartford, in March 2013, on breach of peace and criminal mischief offenses, HERNANDEZ was identified by federal immigration authorities and was charged and convicted in federal court of reentry of a removed alien. On September 10, 2013, he was sentenced in Hartford federal court to 12 months of imprisonment. In April 2014, he was again deported to Mexico.
It is further alleged that HERNANDEZ illegally reentered the U.S. a second time and returned to Connecticut. In November 2015, HERNANDEZ was arrested by Hartford Police for driving under the influence. He subsequently was charged and convicted in federal court of reentry of a removed alien and, on July 15, 2016, was sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. On July 26, 2016, he was convicted in state court of operating under the influence and was sentenced to three years of incarceration, suspended after one year. After he served his federal and state sentences, he was removed to Mexico in May 2017.
It is further alleged that HERNANDEZ illegally reentered the U.S. a third time and, on January 11, 2018, was arrested by the Hartford Police Department for multiple motor vehicle violations, including operating under the influence. He has been detained since his arrest.
If convicted of the charge of illegal reentry, HERNANDEZ faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. HERNANDEZ also faces additional penalties if he is found to have violated the conditions of his supervised release that were imposed at the time of his most recent federal conviction.
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which it is the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Slater.