CBP Arrests 4 Undocumented Aliens for Attempted Re-entry
San Juan, Puerto Rico - Four undocumented aliens, citizens of the Dominican Republic, made an initial appearance today before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Justo Arenas, facing charges for violations to federal immigration law.
The defendants, Enemia De La Cruz (aka. Nelson Rodriguez-De La Cruz), Jeremias Guzman-Espinal, Florian Vasquez-Lantigua, and Ivan Peña-Fana, were found, along with another three aliens, on board a makeshift vessel intercepted Sunday night by partners of the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG).
Enemia De La Cruz, 44, faces charges for violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1324, which proscribes bringing to or attempting to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever an alien at a place other than a designated port of entry or place other than as designated immigration authorities. He also faces charges for attempting to re-enter illegally into the United States after a previous deportation.
Jeremias Guzman-Espinal, 39, faces charges for violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1326, proscribing attempting to re-enter illegally into the United States after a previous deportation.
Florian Vasquez-Lantigua, 44, and Ivan Peña-Fana, 27, faces charges for violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1325, which typifies attempting to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers.
On Sunday, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) aircraft detected a vessel traveling eastward without its required navigational lights, which prompted an assisted interception by the U.S. Coast Guard, 20 nautical miles off the coast of Aguadilla.
USCG personnel documented the incursion via records checks and biometrics, and immigration interviews were performed by CBP Border Patrol agents.
Review of immigration records at the Border Patrol station, revealed that defendants De La Cruz and Guzman-Espinal had previous criminal and immigration violations.
In 2005, defendant De La Cruz was convicted by the U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico for conspiracy to bring aliens and sentenced to time served. Prior detentions and removals also occurred in January 2004 and October 2007 from Puerto Rico.
On April 1996, defendant Guzman-Espinal plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to purchase a firearm in Boston, Mass. Prior detentions and removals occurred from Newark, N.J., in 1993 and Oakdale, La., in 2008.
Mr. Vasquez-Lantigua, and Mr. Ivan Peña-Fana, had been detained and removed once previously.
The Border Patrol prosecutions unit presented the case for prosecution to the United States Attorney's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Evelyn Canals and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell Booker III, will prosecute the case.
Defendants De La Cruz and Guzman-Espinal face a fine or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both penalties.
The other defendants face a fine or imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both.
All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.