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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Federal Prosecutors Charge 18 Criminal Aliens as Part of Enforcement Operation with ICE

Memphis, TN – Between September 19 and October 4, 2018, federal prosecutors brought charges against 18 individuals as criminal aliens and immigration fugitives for violations of U.S. immigration laws. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the indictments and criminal complaints today.

On September 19 and September 27, 2018, federal grand juries returned eleven indictments that remained under seal until the completion of the four-day enforcement operation, and on October 4, 2018, prosecutors brought criminal complaints against seven more foreign nationals. According to the charging instruments, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement & Removal Operations officers arrested 18 unlawfully present foreign nationals on federal firearms charges and charges of illegal reentry after deportation. Another 13 unlawfully present foreign nationals were collaterally arrested during the operation on administrative immigration charges, and will be processed administratively for removal from the United States by ERO.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Criminal aliens not only threaten the sovereignty of our nation, but also threaten the safety of our communities. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has prioritized and renewed our commitment to immigration enforcement, and this operation has focused on those violent and dangerous criminal aliens who continue to violate our laws after deportation. We will aggressively enforce U.S. immigration laws and seek stiff penalties against those who violate them."

"ICE continues to focus its limited resources first and foremost on those who pose the greatest threat to public safety. ICE only conducts targeted enforcement and does not conduct any type of indiscriminate raids or sweeps that target aliens indiscriminately. This operation, and the agency’s overall arrest stats, clearly reflect this reality. Nationally, approximately 90 percent of all persons arrested by ICE this year either had a criminal conviction, a pending criminal charge, or were already subject to a removal order issued by a federal immigration judge," said ICE Assistant Field Office Director Ronald E. Johnson.

Under federal law, it is illegal for an individual who is unlawfully in the United States to possess a firearm. This is a violation of Title 18, United States Code, § 922(g)(5). A violation of this section is punishable by a term of up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years.

It is also illegal under federal law for an individual who has been previously deported from the United States to reenter the United States without permission from the Attorney General or the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. This is a violation of Title 8, United States Code, § 1326. A violation of this section is punishable by a term of up to two years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to two years. Several of the defendants charged with illegal reentry are alleged to be convicted felons or aggravated felons. Convicted felons who violate this section face a term of imprisonment of up to ten years; aggravated felons who violate this section face a term of imprisonment of up to twenty years.

The suspects charged are:

  • Juan Carlos Arvizu-Velazquez, charged with illegal reentry after a felony
  • Romy Gonzalez-Lopez, charged with illegal reentry
  • Aldo Gutierrez-Castillo, charged with illegal reentry
  • Arnold Jeronimo Hernandez-Lopez, charged with illegal reentry after a felony
  • Lorenzo Antonio Luna-Bolanos, charged with illegal reentry
  • Marvin Joel Murillo-Montoya, charged with illegal reentry
  • Gerson Adalberto Najera-Ochoa, charged with illegal reentry
  • Miguel Perpual-Us, charged with illegal reentry
  • Oscar Ramirez-Del La Fuente, charged with illegal possession of a firearm
  • Marvin Donaldo Rivera-Caceres, charged with illegal reentry
  • Alexandro Rodriguez-Aguirres, charged with illegal reentry
  • Victor Rosales-Ramirez, charged with illegal reentry
  • Virgilio Rosales-Ramirez, charged with illegal reentry after a felony
  • Manuel Roberto Tobar-Ramirez, charged with illegal reentry after an aggravated felony
  • Homero Tonche-Chavez, charged with illegal reentry
  • Jorge Urquia-Perdomo, charged with illegal reentry
  • Oseas Vasques_Ramos, charged with illegal reentry
  • Jose Zamora-Hernandez, charged with illegal possession of a firearm

These cases were investigated by the U.S. Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (ICE), Enforcement & Removal Operations (ERO), assisted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lauren Delery and Stephen Hall are prosecuting these cases on behalf of the government.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated October 10, 2018