San Juan, P.R. - To protect the traveling public U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers continually seek out individuals in possession of fraudulent or invalid documents used to deceive federal authorities, even as they attempt to board commercial air carriers.
This week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested various aliens from the Dominican Republic who attempted to elude detection.
Today, Ramon Duran-Estevez went before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Marcos Lopez facing charges of reentering the United States after a previous deportation for the commission of a felony crime in the U.S.
During a routine inspection, Mr. Duran-Estevez presented CBP officers a Dominican passport with no visa, when attempting to board Jet Blue Airways flight at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, bound to the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
While on secondary inspection, system checks revealed that Mr. Duran-Estevez had a felony conviction for aggravated assault and possession of instruments of crime.
In 2003, an Immigration Court in Boston, Mass., ordered his removal prohibiting him from entering, attempting to enter, or to be in the United States for a period of 10 years from the date of departure.
If convicted Mr. Duran-Estevez faces a fine or a sentence of no more than 10 years or both.
Yesterday, Marisol Valoy-Batista also appeared before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Marcos Lopez facing charges of fraudulent use and possession of documents.
During a routine pre-flight inspection, the defendant presented CBP officers a Puerto Rico driver's license, under the name of Vanessa Muriel-Hernandez, attempting to board an American Airlines flight to Chicago, Ill.
CBP officers referred her to secondary inspection, as the driver's license did not appear genuine.
She claimed to be a United States citizen and presented Puerto Rico birth certificate number and a Social Security card. After further inspection, those documents did not appear genuine.
Ms. Valoy-Batista later admitted her real identity and that she obtained them from an unidentified person.
CBP enforcement officers presented both cases to the Immigration Unit of the United States Attorney's Office, who accepted the case for prosecution. Assistant United States Attorney Evelyn Canals will prosecute the case.
If convicted Ms. Valoy-Batista faces a fine or a sentence of no more than 10 years or both.
All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.