SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Field Operations officers arrested last week a previously deported citizen of Spain attempting to enter at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport using the Visa Waiver program.
Juan Carlos Maldonado-Perez, 38, a citizen of Spain appeared Thursday before US District court Magistrate Judge Camille Velez-Rive, facing charges for attempting to re-enter after a previous removal.
“CBP Officers remain vigilant to detect persons trying to deceive the system or abuse the benefits of the Visa Waiver program in violation of US law” stated Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Mr. Maldonado-Perez presented himself for inspection at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport after arriving on a flight from Stockholm, Sweden. He presented a Spanish passport and applied for admission as a Visitor for Pleasure or Business
Referred to secondary inspection, a biometric database revealed a prior removal, and was later denied admission into the United States under the Visa Waiver Program in August 2015, and subsequently removed to Venezuela.
The Visa Waiver Program enables eligible citizens or nationals of designated countries to travel to the United States for Tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa.
CBP field operations officers presented the case to Assistant US Attorney Kelley Zenon who accepted the case for prosecution.
If convicted, Mr. Maldonado-Perez could be fined, imprisoned not more than 2 years or both.
All defendants are presumed innocent until found guilty in 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.