San Juan, Puerto Rico - An alien with an extensive criminal record attempting to illegally re-enter the country using a U.S. passport was arrested Monday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Guillermo Julio Hernandez-Lopez, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, made an initial appearance late yesterday before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Marcos Lopez. He faces criminal charges for attempting to re-enter the United States by fraud and using a U.S. passport knowing it to be forged, counterfeited, altered, or falsely made, or to have been procured by means of any false claim or statement, or to have been otherwise procured by fraud or unlawfully obtained.
Arriving at the Pan-American dock on board the ferry Caribbean Fantasy, Hernandez-Lopez presented himself for CBP inspection as a U.S. citizen by the name of "Michael Lopez" using a U.S. passport containing his own photo and claiming to be the rightful owner.
CBP officers referred Hernandez-Lopez to secondary inspection where a fingerprint database review revealed a match to the record of a previously deported aggravated felon by the name of Guillermo Julio Lopez, also known as Guillermo Lopez Hernandez, Jose Martinez, and Jose Ramirez.
The individual was convicted of re-entry of a previously deported alien based on commission of an aggravated felony in violation of 8 U.S.C. 1326 (b)(2), among other convictions relating to drug trafficking and identity fraud, dating back to the 1970s.
He had been ordered removed by an immigration judge on July 4, 2008, following a conviction for re-entry after deportation as an aggravated felon and was physically removed from the United States on July 29, 2008.
CBP enforcement officers presented the case for prosecution to the Immigration Unit of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Puerto Rico. Special Assistant United States Attorney Kelley L. Tiffany will prosecute the case.
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.