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Press Release

Guatemalan Man Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Reentering the United States After Being Deported Four Times

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Was Convicted of Domestic Abuse Assault (Strangulation) in Linn County After He Illegally Returned to the United States Used a Fraudulent Social Security Card and a Fraudulent Permanent Resident Card in Order to Work Illegally at Two Businesses in US

A man who illegally returned to the United States after being deported was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison.

Juan De Leon-Santiago, age 42, a citizen of Guatemala illegally present in the United States and residing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a September 13, 2023, guilty plea to one count of illegal reentry into the United States after having been deported.

In a plea agreement, De Leon-Santiago admitted he had previously been deported from the United States and illegally reentered the United States without the permission of the United States government.  De Leon-Santiago was previously deported in November 2009, December 2015, September 2016, and May 2017.  On June 20, 2023, immigration officials learned De Leon-Santiago had illegally returned to the United States and found De Leon-Santiago at the Linn County Jail following his arrest on state assault charges.  On August 11, 2023, the defendant was convicted in Linn County, Iowa, of Domestic Abuse Assault (Strangulation), a felony.  De Leon-Santiago was also previously convicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas of Illegal Entry into the United States, a misdemeanor, in November 2015, and Illegal Reentry into the United States, a felony, in February 2017.

In the plea agreement, De Leon-Santiago also admitted he knowingly used a fraudulent Social Security card and a fraudulent Permanent Resident Card (a/k/a “Green Card”) to prove his authorization to work in the United States when he completed employment and tax forms in February 2023 and May 2023 at two different businesses in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Illegal aliens are not authorized to work in the United States.  The number on the Social Security card was unassigned.  The number on the number on the Permanent Resident Card was assigned to a male from Vietnam. 

De Leon-Santiago was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge C.J. Williams.  De Leon-Santiago was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

De Leon-Santiago is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

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 23-CR-47.

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Updated February 27, 2024