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Press Release

Dominican Republic Man Living on St. Thomas Pleads Guilty to Illegally Reentering the United States

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Virgin Islands


ST. THOMAS – U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced today that Timoteo Upia-Frias, 74, a native of the Dominican Republic, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller and pleaded guilty to one count charging him with illegally reentering the United States, in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1326(a).

According to court documents, Timoteo Upia-Frias was discovered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents living in a neighborhood on St. Thomas while conducting an operation investigating undocumented immigrants in the United States Virgin Islands.

Criminal and immigration records confirmed that on September 6, 2016, Timoteo Upia-Frias was removed from the United States by ICE agents and returned to his native country, the Dominican Republic, following his felony conviction in the District Court of the United States in 2008 for possessing with intent to distribute heroin.

Upia-Frias pleaded guilty to illegal reentry pursuant to 8 U.S.C § 1326. He faces up to 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors at a sentencing hearing to be scheduled later.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of the Virgin Islands and investigated by HSI and ICE.

Updated October 6, 2021