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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Illegal Alien Arrested in Iowa for Operating While Intoxicated Sentenced to Federal Prison for Reentering the United States

Was Previously Deported in 2011 and Convicted of ID Theft in 2015

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

Sebastian Mejia-De La Cruz, age 27, a citizen of Guatemala illegally present in the United States and residing in Stewart, Minnesota, received the prison term after a January 31, 2018, guilty plea to one count of illegal reentry into the United States.

At the guilty plea, Mejia-De La Cruz admitted he had previously been deported from the United States on June 10, 2011, and that he illegally reentered the United States without the permission of the United States government in 2012.  On December 3, 2017, Mejia-De La Cruz was found by immigration officers at the Tama County Jail in Toledo, Iowa, following his arrest for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.  On December 21, 2017, Mejia-De La Cruz was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.  Mejia-De La Cruz had also been convicted of identity theft in Renville County, Minnesota, in January 2015.  In that case, Mejia-De La Cruz had used falsified or stolen documents to obtain employment under a false name.

Mejia-De La Cruz was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Mejia-De La Cruz was sentenced to 77 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.

Mejia-De La Cruz 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 https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 18-CR-01.

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Updated March 28, 2018