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Press Release

Mexican National Man Pleads Guilty and is Sentenced for Immigration Crime

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Mexican national man pled guilty to the felony offense of Reentry of a Removed Alien, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Eric Armando Vega-Covarrubias, 38, was immediately sentenced to a “time served” sentence, having served nearly four months in federal custody.  Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“Vega-Covarrubias had two prior removals from two different states,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Let’s hope he doesn’t illegally reenter our country a fourth time.”

On March 25, 2019, Vega-Covarrubias  was found in South Charleston, West Virginia by members of ICE who were conducting a field operation.  ICE agents identified defendant get in a car and begin to drive away.  The agents stopped the car.  When defendant was stopped in his vehicle, he gave ICE agents a Mexican voter card and admitted being in the United States illegally.  Vega-Covarrubias  was arrested and ICE agents matched his fingerprints to previous removals from the United States.  ICE agents spoke to defendant to confirm his identity. Vega-Covarrubias again admitted being in the United States illegally.  Vega-Covarrubias had no identification documents permitting him legal status in the United States.

Fingerprinting matched Vega-Covarrubias to two prior removals from the United States.  His previous removals were  in 2012 from Atlanta, Georgia and in 2016 from Williston, North Dakota.  In both cases, Vega-Covarrubias was found by immigration judges to be in the United States illegally and he was deported to Mexico.  He had not obtained permission to legally enter the United States and had not sought legal status or citizenship. Vega-Covarrubias further admitted to ICE agents that he was a Mexican 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 July 18, 2019