Mexican Man Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Return to the United States After Removal and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person
Gulfport, Miss. – Cristian Jonathan Martinez-Sanchez, 27, an illegal alien from Mexico, was sentenced today, and Claudia Perez-Vargas, 46, also an illegal alien from Mexico, was sentenced on May 11, 2020, by U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden, for the unlawful return of an alien after removal, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Jere T. Miles, Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans, and Acting Chief Patrol Agent Michael J. Harrison of the Border Patrol’s New Orleans Sector.
Martinez-Sanchez was sentenced to “time served” (effectively 188 days imprisonment) and one year of supervised release after serving his prison sentence. Perez-Vargas was sentenced to “time served” (effectively 186 days imprisonment) and one year of supervised release after serving her sentence. Additionally, both Martinez-Sanchez and Perez-Vargas will face Department of Homeland Security removal proceedings to remove them from the United States back to their home nation of Mexico. Martinez-Sanchez pled guilty on December 18, 2019, and Perez-Vargas pled guilty on December 20, 2019, before Judge Ozerden.
On November 7, 2019, in Harrison County, a U.S. Border Patrol Agent conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on Interstate-10 in Biloxi. The driver was Claudia Perez-Vargas, who provided the agent with an expired Texas driver’s license. In addition to Perez-Vargas, the Border Patrol Agent encountered three male passengers, all of whom were citizens of Mexico, illegally present in the United States. Therefore, all four were transported to the Gulfport Border Patrol Station for processing.
At the Border Patrol Station, Homeland Security electronic database queries confirmed that Perez-Vargas is a citizen of Mexico who had previously been removed from the United States on November 25, 2014, December 28, 2014 and January 28, 2015. Following her latest removal, she was prohibited from entering, attempting to enter, or being in the U.S. for a period of 20 years.
Martinez-Sanchez was a passenger in the vehicle. He also was positively identified by computer scans of his fingerprints. The database queries revealed that he had previously been removed from the U.S. to Mexico on April 28, 2019. Federal Officials determined that both Martinez-Sanchez and Perez-Vargas knowingly and voluntarily reentered the U.S. without having lawful permission to do so.
U.S. Attorney Hurst praised the cooperation exhibited by the U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Stan Harris was the prosecutor for the case.