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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

Monday, February 4, 2019

Mexican National Sentenced to Prison for Reentering the U.S. after Being Deported Multiple Times

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSE LUIS MERINO HERNANDEZ, also known as “Jose Mendez,” 50, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to seven months of imprisonment for illegally reentering the U.S. after being deported.  Merino Hernandez is a citizen of Mexico last residing in Waterbury.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in January 2005, Merino Hernandez was removed from the U.S. to Mexico after he sustained convictions in New York.  He illegally reentered the U.S. and was encountered by ICE while he was incarcerated in New York in November 2010.  He was again removed to Mexico in January 2011.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents encountered Merino Hernandez in Tucson, Arizona, three times in May and June 2011.  After the third encounter, he was charged in the District of Arizona with illegal reentry.  He was convicted of the offense, sentenced to 120 days of imprisonment, and removed to Mexico in October 2011.

On June 9, 2018, Merino Hernandez was arrested in Waterbury and charged with four counts of risk of injury of a minor, one count of interfering/resisting arrest, one count of breach of peace and one count of assault 3rd degree.  He has been detained since his arrest.  On September 10, 2018, Merino Hernandez pleaded guilty in state court to one count of reckless endangerment in the first degree.  He was sentenced to 11 months of imprisonment, execution suspended, and three years of probation.

On November 19, 2018, Merino Hernandez pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to one count of reentry of a removed alien.

Merino Hernandez will be removed to Mexico when he completes his federal sentence.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with the assistance of the Waterbury Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Slater.

Updated February 4, 2019