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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Defendant Released from Local Custody Despite Outstanding ICE Detainer Pleads Guilty to Illegal Reentry following Philadelphia Conviction for Rape of Child

Philadelphia, PA – U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Juan Ramon Vasquez, a citizen of Honduras, pleaded guilty today to illegal reentry after deportation.  In May 2009, the defendant was deported from the United States.  Thereafter, in March 2014, the defendant was found back in the United States by U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) officers.  At that time, Vasquez was in the custody of the Philadelphia Department of Prisons. 

The City of Philadelphia thereafter chose not to comply with a detainer lodged by ICE for the defendant, who was instead released from custody by the Philadelphia Department of Prisons.  After his release, the defendant was rearrested and convicted for rape of a child and unlawful sexual contact with a minor.  The defendant is currently serving a sentence of 8 to 20 years in state prison. 

The defendant, having now pleaded guilty to the federal charge of illegal reentry after deportation, faces a maximum possible sentence of two years in federal prison.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 20, 2018, by the Honorable Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro.

“The facts of this case highlight the danger posed by the City of Philadelphia’s decision to disregard ICE detainers and release previously deported aliens from local custody,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain.  “Those of us in the law enforcement business should be doing everything in our power to protect vulnerable children from predators like Vasquez.  Instead, this defendant received a free pass from the City of Philadelphia and its Department of Prisons, headed straight back into our community, and committed a heinous crime he never would have had the chance to commit had the City of Philadelphia complied with the ICE detainer.”

The case was investigated by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vineet Gauri.

Updated August 7, 2018