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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Guatemalan Woman Pleads Guilty to Illegally Re-entering United States After Removal

 

Gulfport, Miss. – Yesica Paola Rojas-Baten, 19, an illegal alien from Guatemala, pled guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr., to unlawful re-entry by an alien after removal, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Thomas Annello, Acting Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans, and Joseph A. Banco Jr., Acting Chief Patrol Agent of the U.S. Border Patrol’s New Orleans Sector.

Rojas-Baten will be sentenced by Judge Guirola on August 2, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. and faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

On January 30, 2018, two Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputies, working together, but in separate patrol vehicles, conducted traffic stops on two separate Honda Pilot Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) that were traveling together. The U.S. Border Patrol was contacted and arrived on the scene shortly thereafter. Both drivers of the SUVs were found to be in the United States illegally and each vehicle contained eight passengers who also were illegal aliens.

All eighteen occupants of both vehicles were arrested and transported to the Border Patrol Station in Gulfport, MS. One of the passengers was Yesica Paola Rojas-Baten, the defendant in this case. Rojas-Baten had been lawfully ordered removed from the United States by the Department of Homeland Security in December 2017, and had illegally returned to the U.S. after being flown from Texas back to her home country of Guatemala.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Border Patrol, and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Stan Harris is the prosecutor for the case.

Updated May 2, 2018