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Press Release

Mexican National Pleads Guilty to Illegally Reentering the United States

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

Defendant had  four prior deportations from the United States

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. –  Victor Santa Maria-Cleofas pled guilty to the felony offense of Reentry of a Removed Alien, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  He also faces removal proceedings at the conclusion of any sentence of incarceration.   United States Attorney Mike Stuart praised the work of  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

“Another reason for the proposed wall.  Maria-Cleofas has 4 previous deportations and keeps coming back,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “He will soon face deportation a 5th time.  Everyone hates line skippers.  This is a nation that welcomes new immigrants but every immigrant must respect our country and follow our laws.”

Santa Maria-Cleofas , 47, of Mexico, faces up to 2 years of incarceration, a 250,000 dollar fine, supervised release for one year, and a special assessment when he is scheduled to be sentenced on May 29, 2018 by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers. 

On March 15, 2018, Santa Maria-Cleofas  was arrested by ICE agents who observed defendant biking to a restaurant in Hurricane, West Virginia where he worked.  ICE already had information that defendant was in the United States illegally, and were able to stop him as he rode by.  After confirming his identity and with defendant admitting he was not in the United States legally, he was placed under arrest. ICE agents submitted Santa Maria-Cleofas’s fingerprints, forensically matching him to four prior deportations in 2001, 2004, 2008, and 2010.  Santa Maria-Cleofas  reentered the United States a total of  five separate occasions without legal permission from the Secretary of Homeland Security.  Santa Maria-Cleofas  is a citizen of Mexico.

Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes is handling the prosecution.


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Updated April 30, 2018