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Press Release

Nine-Time Felon Sentenced to Over 6 Years in Prison for Illegal Reentry

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

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Jose Ygnacio Sosa-Ramirez, 55, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced yesterday for illegally reentering the United States after having been previously removed, and violating the terms of his supervised release on a prior federal conviction. Chief District Judge Christina Reiss sentenced Sosa-Ramirez to a 50-month term of incarceration for having illegally reentered the United States, and a consecutive 24-month term of incarceration for violating the terms of his supervised release, resulting in a total sentence of 74 months.

According to Court records, in June of 2014, Sosa-Ramirez was convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, sentenced to time served (approximately 23 months), and a 2-year term of supervised release. He was subsequently deported from the United States on October 8, 2014. On October 19, 2015, Sosa-Ramirez entered the United States at the Highgate Port of Entry in Highgate Springs, Vermont, as a passenger aboard a Greyhound Bus. Sosa-Ramirez presented the Customs and Border Protection Officer an official United States passport in the name of Walter Kahigas. The Customs and Border Protection Officer referred Sosa-Ramirez to secondary inspection, after discovering a database alert associated with that identity. Sosa-Ramirez subsequently admitted the Walter Kahigas passport was obtained through fraudulent statements. Investigation of Sosa-Ramirez’s criminal history revealed he had nine prior felony convictions, including convictions for gun trafficking, document fraud, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and conspiracy to distribute heroin.

United States Attorney Eric S. Miller commended the efforts of United States Customs and Border Protection, in the arrest and prosecution of Sosa-Ramirez.

Sosa-Ramirez was represented by Bradley Stetler, Esq. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt.

Updated August 26, 2016