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Press Release

Guatemalan National Man Sentenced for Immigration Crime

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Guatemalan national man was sentenced to “time served” for the felony offense of Reentry of a Removed Alien, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Daniel Lopez-Ajqui, 26, has been in custody since June 11, 2019, over four months in federal custody.   Lopez-Ajqui entered a guilty plea on September 16, 2019.  After the sentencing, he was remanded to the Department of Homeland Security for possible removal from the United States.  Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“We have more than doubled our prosecutions of illegal reentry cases over the last two years,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “This was Lopez-Ajqui’s third illegal entry into the United States.  We must put a stop to the revolving door.” 

On June 11, 2019, Lopez-Ajqui was found in Elkview by members of ICE after they received information Lopez-Ajqui was working illegally in Elkview.  ICE agents traveled to Elkview to confirm his legal status.  The defendant admitted to agents that he was in the United States illegally.  Lopez-Ajqui  was arrested and ICE agents matched his fingerprints to previous removals from the United States.  ICE agents further spoke to the defendant to confirm his identity. Lopez-Ajqui again admitted being in the United States illegally and had no identification documents permitting him legal status in the United States.

Fingerprinting matched Lopez-Ajqui to two prior removals from the United States in 2018 from Texas. In all prior removal hearings, Lopez-Ajqui was found by immigration judges to be in the United States illegally and he was deported to Guatemala.  He had not obtained permission to legally enter the United States and had not sought legal status or citizenship. Lopez-Ajqui further admitted to ICE agents that he was a Guatemalan citizen.

United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin presided over the hearing.  Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes handled the prosecution.


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Updated October 21, 2019