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Justice News

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

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Non-Citizen Charged With Failure To Depart To The Dominican Republic

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Jonathan Pena-Charles, age 30, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on two counts of failure to depart. 

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, Pena-Charles is a removable alien who has a final order of removal issued by an Immigration Judge.  Pena-Charles is alleged to have knowingly taken steps to prevent his own removal from the United States by (1) failing to participate in an interview with his home country of the Dominican Republic, (2) failing to execute documents necessary to permit travel, and (3) failing to submit to a COVID-19 test which is necessary for air travel.        

This matter was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joanne M. Sanderson.

Pena-Charles faces a maximum penalty of 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

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

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Updated March 17, 2022