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Press Release

Mexican National Pleads Not Guilty to Returning to the United States Following Deportation

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

The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Miguel Lopez-Castillo, 34, a Mexican national, pleaded not guilty on November 15, 2018, in United States District Court in Burlington to a charge that he was found in the United States after having been previously deported.  U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy ordered that Lopez-Castillo be detained pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

According to the indictment, Lopez-Castillo has twice been deported from the United States:  first in 2008 and again in 2012.  In late May 2018, agents with the Department of Homeland Security learned that Lopez-Castillo had at some point returned to the United States illegally, without having obtained authorization from the Attorney General to do so.  At the time of his indictment this past August, Lopez-Castillo was in the custody of the Vermont Department of Corrections following his arrest in Burlington.   That state case ended on November 15, 2018, with Lopez-Castillo’s guilty plea and time-served sentence.  Agents then took the defendant into federal custody. 

The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charge in the indictment is merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty. 

If convicted, Lopez-Castillo faces up to two years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.  The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines. 

Lopez-Castillo is represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Barclay Johnson.  The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.

Updated November 19, 2018