Two Mexican nationals plead guilty to immigration crimes
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two Mexican nationals pleaded guilty today to immigration crimes, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Rogelio Herrera-Hernandez, 50, and Jose Martinez-Santos, 30, entered guilty pleas to illegally reentering the United States after having been removed.
On September 18, 2017, Herrera-Hernandez was identified riding a bicycle in Ripley by agents of the Department of Homeland Security. Agents recognized him from a prior encounter in 2009, and Herrera-Hernandez confirmed his identity when they stopped the bike. Fingerprint comparison confirmed that Herrera-Hernandez had three prior removals from the United States, one on September 1, 2009, in Charleston, another on December 10, 2009, in Laredo, Texas, and another on December 11, 2009, also in Laredo. On each occasion after being removed, he then illegally reentered the United States. Herrera-Hernandez admitted that he had not formally applied for permission to legally enter the United States.
In a separate prosecution, Martinez-Santos was identified by Department of Homeland Security agents in Charleston on September 26, 2017. He was a passenger in a van that was stopped by agents looking for another individual believed to be in the country illegally. Martinez-Santos confirmed his identity during the stop, and gave a sworn statement admitting that he had reentered the United States illegally. Agents also learned through fingerprint comparison that Martinez-Santos had two prior removals from the United States, one on March 3, 2011, in Staunton, Virginia, and another on September 6, 2015, in Henrico, Virginia. On both occasions after being removed, he then illegally reentered the United States. Martinez-Santos also admitted that he had not formally applied for permission to legally enter the United States.
Herrera-Hernandez and Martinez-Santos both face up to two years in federal prison when they are sentenced on March 1, 2018. They are also both subject to removal proceedings at the conclusion of the cases.
The investigations were conducted by the Department of Homeland Security. Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes is in charge of the prosecutions. The plea hearings were held before United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.
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