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Justice News

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Illegal Alien Indicted For Failure To Depart The United States

     The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a federal grand jury in Scranton Tuesday returned an indictment against Carlos Mendez, a citizen of Guatemala, charging failure to depart the United States.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Carlos Mendez, age 44, a native and citizen of Guatemala, was charged with allegedly failing to comply with facilitating his departure from the United States after a final order of removal had been issued.  In June 2013, an Immigration Judge in Philadelphia sustained a ruling that Mendez, who had entered the U.S. on a VISA in 1988, was not here legally and ordered him to be removed.  Mendez then allegedly refused to comply with established removal procedures.

     If convicted, Carlos Mendez faces up to four years imprisonment.

     The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.

     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.

     In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 4 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 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 17, 2015