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Press Release

Mexico citizen arrested in illegal transportation case admits immigration crime

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

GREAT FALLS – A Mexico citizen pleaded guilty today to illegal re-entry after she was arrested in Glacier County with others during an investigation into possible alien smuggling from Canada, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Ma Mercedes Rivera-Gutierrez, 39, pleaded guilty to illegal re-entry into the United States after having been previously deported. Rivera-Gutierrez faces a maximum two years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris presided and set sentencing for Feb. 6. Rivera-Gutierrez was detained pending further proceedings.

The prosecution said in court records that Rivera-Gutierrez was found in Glacier County on Nov. 17, 2019, shortly after she entered the United States. Rivera-Gutierrez had been removed from the United States in 2001, 2007 and 2012 and had not applied for permission to re-enter. Rivera-Gutierrez admitted she re-entered the United States on foot, north of Cut Bank, in Glacier County.

On Nov. 17, 2019, a Border Patrol agent observed a black Chevrolet Suburban traveling south on Highway 213 at about 10:45 p.m. and, based on intelligence and surveillance, had reason to believe the vehicle was being used to traffic undocumented aliens. When the agent activated his emergency lights and performed a traffic stop on the Suburban, multiple occupants absconded on foot into an agricultural field. Agents searched the field and arrested multiple persons, including Rivera-Gutierrez. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette Stewart is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.




Clair Johnson Howard
Public Information Officer

Updated January 8, 2020