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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 12, 2014

Criminal Immigration Charges Brought Against Two Illegal Aliens

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), announced today that charges in two unrelated cases were brought against the following persons in Harrisburg on June 11, 2014.

     Agustin Lopez-Velasco, age 38, a native and citizen of Mexico has been charged with illegal reentry into the United States and fraud and misuse of documents.

     According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Lopez-Velasco, in the United States illegally, was charged in a two-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Harrisburg yesterday.

     The indictment alleges that Lopez-Velasco, an alien previously arrested and deported from the United States in March 2011, reentered the United States illegally, and knowingly possessed a fraudulent permanent resident card when apprehended in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

     If convicted, Lopez-Velasco faces a maximum sentence of up to 12 years’ imprisonment and a $500,000 fine.

     Jose Galarza-Buestan, age 29, a native and citizen of Ecuador, in the United States illegally was charged in a one-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Harrisburg today.

     The indictment alleges that on or before May 14, 2014, Galarza-Buestan did knowingly possess, use, or attempt to use a fraudulent social security card and birth certificate during an encounter with immigration officials in York, York County, Pennsylvania.

     If convicted, Galarza-Buestan faces a maximum sentence of up to ten years’ imprisonment and a $750,000 fine.

     Both investigations were conducted by ICE ERO.  They are being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian G. McDonnell.

     Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

     A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

     Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Updated April 16, 2015