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Press Release

Previously Deported Mexican National Sentenced to Nine Years for Violating Immigration Laws

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

Defendant’s Sentence Enhanced for Raping a Female Illegal Alien During Smuggling Expedition Involving Nine Illegal Aliens

ALBUQUERQUE – Yesterday afternoon, Alberto Cuevas-Gonzalez, 49, a Mexican national from Senora, Mexico, was sentenced to 102 months in prison for his conviction for transporting illegal aliens and re-entering the United States after previously having been deported subsequent to an aggravated felony conviction. Cuevas-Gonzalez’s sentence was enhanced from the recommended sentencing range of 63 to 78 months based on the court’s findings that Cuevas-Gonzalez raped one of the aliens whom he had smuggled into the United States.

Cuevas-Gonzalez also was sentenced to 12 months in prison for violating his conditions of release on a prior sentence. Six months of this sentence are to be served concurrently with the 102 month sentence, resulting in a total prison sentence of 108 months. Cuevas-Gonzalez will be deported after he completes his prison sentence.

The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales and Chief Patrol Agent Scott A. Luck, El Paso Sector, U.S. Border Patrol.

Cuevas-Gonzalez, whose true name is Jose Angel Cardenas-Aguilar, was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol Agents in Hidalgo County, N.M., on May 3, 2012, for smuggling nine illegal aliens from Mexico into the United States. He has been in federal custody since that time. On June 27, 2012, Cuevas-Gonzalez pled guilty to transporting illegal aliens and re-entering the United States without authorization after previously having been deported subsequent to an aggravated felony conviction.

Court records reflect that Cuevas-Gonzales was arrested on May 3, 2012, shortly after leading nine illegally aliens, including a young woman, across the Mexican border into the United States on foot. Each of the nine illegal aliens had paid or agreed to pay a $3000 smuggling fee to Cuevas-Gonzales. During the two-day trek, Cuevas-Gonzales drew the young woman away from the group on two occasions, once in Mexico and again in Arizona, and coerced her into having sex by threatening to kill her, or to leave her and the others to die in the desert.

Court records reflect that Cuevas-Gonzales was convicted for illegal entry into the United States in 1995 and 1999 and for illegal re-entry after deportation in 2002. He also has two prior felony convictions for marijuana trafficking offenses.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Border Patrol, Lordsburg Border Patrol Station, with assistance from the Cochise County (Arizona) Sheriff’s Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mick I.R. Gutierrez of the U.S. Attorney’s Branch Office.

Updated January 26, 2015