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Press Release

Convicted Child Molester Sentenced for Immigration Fraud and Judicially Ordered Removed from the United States

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. – Manuel Alejandro Vitela-Romero, age 36, a citizen of Mexico residing in Johnston County, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Richard E. Myers II to time served plus one year of supervised release following a guilty plea to immigration fraud. Moreover, Vitela was judicially ordered removed from the United States.

According to court records, on March 23, 2019, Vitela knowingly made a materially false statement on an application for an immigration benefit.  In response to the question “Have you ever…engaged in [a]ny kind of sexual contact or relations with any person who was being forced or threatened?” he answered “No.”

Contrary to Vitela’s statement, he had taken indecent liberties with a minor, a 13-year-old girl, on August 8, 2018, and he was convicted on November 8, 2022, in the Superior Court of North Carolina in Johnston County. He was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of between 16 and 29 months and ordered to register as a sex offender. 

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement. Agents with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and Homeland Security Investigations, assigned to the Document Benefit Fraud Task Force, investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sebastian Kielmanovich prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:23-cr-008-1M-BM. 

Updated March 23, 2023