Prosecutions Continue In Illegal Entry Cases Involving Those With Prior Criminal Records
MINNEAPOLIS -- In the District of Minnesota, court action continued yesterday in two separate cases regarding foreign nationals who entered the United States illegally after being deported as criminals. In each case, the individual pleaded guilty to one count of illegal re-entry after removal.
In the first case, Adrian Vicente Gulliani-Gulliani, age 40, entered his plea before U.S. District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle in St. Paul. Gulliani-Gulliani was indicted on December 10, 2012.
In his plea agreement, Gulliani-Gulliani admitted that on November 14, 2012, he was found in the U.S. illegally after having been deported to Mexico. The deportation followed a 1998 Hennepin County conviction for first-degree sale of a controlled substance and second-degree possession of a controlled substance. According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the current case, Gulliani-Gulliani was arrested in St. Paul by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (“ICE ERO”), who identified him as an illegal alien.
If convicted, Gulliani-Gulliani faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Judge Kyle will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled. This case is the result of an investigation by ICE ERO, with cooperation from the St. Paul Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Manda M. Sertich.
In the second case, Jose Silva-Mercado, age 29, entered his plea before U.S. District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank in St. Paul. Silva-Mercado was indicted on December 10, 2012. In his plea agreement, Silva-Mercado admitted that on September 2, 2012, he was found in the U.S. illegally after having been deported to Mexico. The deportation followed a 2009 Mower County conviction for aggravated forgery.
On September 2, 2012, while Silva-Mercado was in the Stearns County Jail on a charge of driving under the influence, authorities identified him as an illegal alien with a criminal record. That identification was made though the ICE’s Criminal Alien Program (“CAP”). The goal of that program is to locate criminal aliens incarcerated in federal and state prisons, as well as in local jails, and prevent them from being released into society by having them federally prosecuted for illegally re-entry. In some instances, federal prosecution occurs only after the individual has been prosecuted for the recent underlying offense.
For his crime, Silva-Mercado faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Judge Frank will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled. This case is the result of an investigation by ICE ERO, with cooperation from the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Kokkinen.
Both men will remain in custody until their current federal cases are resolved. To learn more about the CAP, visit www.ice.gov/criminal-alien-program/