San Juan, P.R. -Three citizens of the Dominican Republic appeared today before federal District Magistrate Judge Marcos Lopez facing charges for violation of immigration law after entering illegally into the island.
The three defendants are Jesus Mambrux, 26, also known as José R. Paulino-Ramírez; Maria Encarnación-Tejada, 40, also known as Maria Encarnación- Castillo and Margari Nurys Castillo-Pujols; and Oscar Cordones, 27.
In the hearing, the defendants were charged with entering the U.S. at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers. Defendant Mambrux was also charged with re-entry of a previously removed alien.
The defendants belonged to a group of 12 aliens that landed Dec. 20 on Mona Island, on board a 22 ft. makeshift vessel, or yola.
Park rangers of the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection for assistance and immigration processing.
A CBP helicopter from the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch transported Border Patrol agents to conduct the appropriate immigration interviews. The CBP helicopter transported all the aliens from Mona Island to the Ramey Border Patrol station for further processing.
Agents interviewed the aliens, checked their fingerprints and verified their criminal and immigration history. Defendants Mambrux, Encarnación and Castillo had previous immigration encounters and were removed to the Dominican Republic.
The immigration record for defendant Mambrux revealed that an immigration judge formally removed him in 2007.
The remaining nine aliens were removed to the Dominican Republic.
CBP presented the case to the immigration unit of the U.S. Attorney's office for the District of Puerto Rico for prosecution. Special U.S. Attorney Russell Booker III will prosecute the case.
Defendant Mambrux faces a fine or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both.
The other two alien defendants face a fine or imprisonment for 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.