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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

El Salvadoran Man Who Fled From Law Enforcement Officers Charged With Illegal Reentry After Deportation

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the filing of a criminal complaint charging Francisco Obidio Portillo-Fuentes (26, El Salvador) with illegally reentering the United States after having been deported. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison. Portillo-Fuentes made his initial appearance in federal court today, in Jacksonville, and was ordered temporarily detained. A formal detention hearing is set for November 28, 2016, at 2:00 p.m.

According to the criminal complaint, Portillo-Fuentes was a passenger in a pick-up truck parked at a Gate gas station in Yulee, Florida on November 22, 2016, when the truck was approached by a uniformed Border Patrol agent. The driver of the pick-up truck was engaged in a conversation with the Border Patrol agent when Portillo-Fuentes exited the truck and fled on foot. Two Nassau County Sheriff’s Office deputies, who were in the area for an unrelated call, gave chase. An extensive search for Portillo-Fuentes was conducted throughout the day on November 22, 2016, and Portillo-Fuentes was located and arrested by the U.S. Marshals and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office deputies that evening.

After being arrested, Portillo-Fuentes told Border Patrol agents that he had been born in El Salvador and had last entered the United States on or about November 19, 2016, by wading across the Rio Grande river near Laredo, Texas.  Computer database checks confirmed that Portillo-Fuentes had been previously deported from the United States on two separate occasions, in 2011 and 2016.

A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has violated one or more federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by U.S. Border Patrol, with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Field Operations. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor.

Updated November 28, 2016