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Press Release

Guatemalan Man Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Reentering the United States

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

A Guatemalan man who illegally returned to the United States after being deported was sentenced today to more than two months in federal prison.

Abner Velasquez-Garcia, age 28, a citizen of Guatemala illegally present in the United States and residing in Cedar Falls, Iowa, received the prison term after a guilty plea to one count of illegal reentry into the United States.

At the guilty plea, Velasquez-Garcia admitted he had previously been deported from the United States and illegally reentered the United States without the permission of the United States government. 

The facts show that when Velasquez-Garcia applied for admission into the United States at the Arizona border on June 4, 2015, he provided a fraudulent Arizona driver’s license with a false name and date of birth.  After questioning, Velasquez-Garcia gave immigration officials a different name and date of birth.  Eventually, on June 6, 2015, Velasquez-Garcia admitted his true name and date of birth.  Velasquez-Garcia was deported to Guatemala on January 18, 2016.  On May 14, 2018, Velasquez-Garcia was found by immigration officers along with five other illegal aliens after their car was stopped in Cedar Falls for traffic violations. 

Velasquez-Garcia was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Velasquez-Garcia was sentenced to 75 days’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a one-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Velasquez-Garcia is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be turned over to immigration officials.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations.

Court file information at

The case file number is 18-CR-2029-LRR. 

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Updated August 8, 2018