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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Honduran National Is Sentenced To Prison For Sexual Contact With A Minor

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray announced today that Arlen Flores, 49, a Honduran national and a permanent United States resident living in Cherokee, N.C., was sentenced to six years in prison for sexual contact with a minor. U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger presided over the sentencing hearing.

John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Doug Pheasant of the Cherokee Indian Police Department join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and the sentencing hearing, on a date ranging from January to July 2017, Flores sexually abused a minor female victim.  The sexual abuse occurred in Swain County and within the boundaries of Indian Country.  The female victim, who is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, was under 12 years old at the time. 

On February 22, 2019, Flores pleaded guilty to nonconsensual sexual contact. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.  All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

Flores will also be subject to deportation proceedings upon the completion of his federal sentence.  If Flores is not deported, or later returns to the United States, he was ordered by Judge Reidinger to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray credited the FBI and CIPD for this investigation. 

Assistant United States Attorney John Pritchard, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville, is in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Childhood
Updated August 22, 2019