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Press Release

Stowaway Found at Port of Houston Convicted

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

HOUSTON – A 40-year-old undocumented immigrant found as a stowaway on a boat at the Port of Houston has pleaded guilty to illegal re-entry after deportation, announced U.S Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Robinson Francisco Gonzalez-Martinez, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, has multiple convictions for drug possession and two convictions for grand theft of motor vehicles. He had been deported twice from the United States. 

On May 8, 2016, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered Gonzalez-Martinez hiding in a ship at the Port of Houston.

Today, he admitted he is a previously convicted felon who illegally re-entered this county. He snuck on to a container ship in the Dominican Republic and was discovered after he jumped off of the vessel upon its arrival in the Port of Houston.     

“This arrest and conviction illustrates CBP’s ongoing commitment to intercept individuals intent on circumventing the immigration process to continue their criminal activity,” said CBP Director of Field Operations Judson W. Murdock II. “CBP will continue to take every opportunity to apprehend these individuals and coordinate for the proper action leading to their removal from our communities.”

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt accepted the plea today and has set sentencing for Oct. 3, 2016. At that time, Gonzalez-Martinez faces up to 10 years in federal prison. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.

CBP conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Goldman is prosecuting the case.

Updated July 28, 2016