Guatemalan Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Re-Entering U.S. After Prior Removal
Gulfport, Miss. – Wilson Walberto Clemente-Perez, 27, a citizen of Guatemala, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr., to the federal crime of unlawful re-entry by an alien after removal, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Thomas M. Annello, Acting Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans.
Clemente-Perez is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Guirola on April 25, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. He faces a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment, not more than one year of supervised release, a maximum $250,000 fine, and a special assessment of $100.
On November 5, 2017, a Honda CRV in which Clemente-Perez was a passenger was stopped by a Pearl River County Sheriff’s Deputy on Interstate-59 in Pearl River County, Mississippi, for speeding. While the Honda CRV was designed to seat five people, the deputy observed that, in addition to the driver, there were five unidentified passengers. The driver could not identify his passengers and the deputy could not communicate with the passengers due to a language barrier. Suspecting human smuggling, the deputy contacted the Department of Homeland Security and a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations was dispatched. A Mississippi Highway Patrol State Trooper also provided assistance.
Upon opening the Honda CRV’s cargo door, three additional passengers were found covered in the cargo area of the vehicle bringing the total number of occupants in the vehicle to nine including the driver. Clemente-Perez was one of the passengers in the cargo area. All of the vehicle occupants were taken to the Pearl River County Jail. Further investigation by Homeland Security Investigations revealed that Clemente-Perez previously had been removed from the United States on September 28, 2017, by the Department of Homeland Security after a lawful order of removal had been issued.
U.S. Attorney Hurst praised the cooperation exhibited by the Department of Homeland
Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department and the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Assistant United States Attorney Stan Harris is the prosecutor for the case.