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Press Release

Illegal Alien From Mexico Sentenced to 1 ½ Years for Third Federal Illegal Re-Entry Conviction

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

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced today that Fernando Antonio Garcia-Bonilla, 27, of Quinlan, Texas, was sentenced to eighteen months in federal prison by United States District Court Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg.  The defendant was convicted of re-entering the United States illegally after being deported on two prior occasions and after having committed three DUIs while in the country unlawfully.  After he serves his sentence, the defendant will be deported to Mexico.

On August 16, 2018, the defendant, an illegal alien, native and citizen of Mexico, was charged in an indictment with one count of re-entry into the United States after previously being deported and removed from the country on or about March 2, 2017 and February 15, 2018.  On March 18, 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to the indictment.

While illegally present in the United States, the defendant was convicted of driving while intoxicated by three different Texas courts, the last of which sentenced him to serve ten years in prison, all but two of which were suspended.  Additionally, this federal conviction is the defendant’s third conviction for violating this nation’s immigration laws, as he was previously federally convicted of illegal entry into the United States on February 17, 2017, in the District of New Mexico, and then convicted of illegal re-entry into the United States on August 11, 2017 in the same district.  He was sentenced to serve ten months’ imprisonment following his most recent federal conviction.

“The defendant in this case has no respect for the laws of this country, be they state or federal,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain.  “After being removed on two prior occasions, Garcia-Bonilla decided yet again to scorn our immigration system by entering the United States illegally, even after serving state and federal time for his crimes.  He is clearly a danger to the public and does not deserve the privilege of being in our country.”

“Mr. Garcia-Bonilla’s sentencing sends a clear message that criminal aliens who illegally re-enter the United States will face criminal prosecution for flagrantly disregarding our laws,” said Simona L. Flores-Lund, Field Office Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) - Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Philadelphia.  “It should also serve as a warning to others contemplating re-entering this country illegally that ERO officers will seek to affect their removal and preserve the integrity of our immigration laws.”

The case was investigated by ICE-ERO and the Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nelson S.T. Thayer, Jr.


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Updated July 31, 2019