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Press Release

Mexican Man Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Return After Removal

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi

Gulfport, Miss. – A Mexican national pled guilty to the federal felony offense of Unlawful Return of an Alien After Deportation or Removal, announced U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca and Jason E. Schneider, Chief Patrol Agent of the U.S. Border Patrol’s New Orleans Sector. 

According to court documents, Fernando Hernandez-Zavala, 39, of Mexico, was arrested on October 8, 2021, on Interstate 10 in Harrison County.  A Harrison County Sherriff’s Deputy conducted a vehicle stop near Mile Marker 29 on Interstate 10 eastbound for speeding. 

The passenger in the vehicle was identified as Fernando Hernandez-Zavala, a citizen of Mexico with no legal right to enter or remain in the United States.  At the Gulfport Border Station, Hernandez-Zavala’s  identity was positively confirmed, and record checks revealed that he had been lawfully removed from the United States in 2004 and again in 2010. 

Hernandez-Zavala is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.  He faces a maximum penalty of two years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 1 year of Supervised Release.  After completing any sentence of incarceration, he also is subject to Department of Homeland Security proceedings to remove him from the United States.  A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Border Patrol and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Harris is the prosecutor for the case.

Updated January 13, 2022