SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers found and arrested Monday a deported alien attempting exit the island on board the San Juan- Santo Domingo ferry.
Martires Torres-Garcia, 42, a citizen of the Dominican Republic appeared Wednesday before the US District Court Magistrate Judge Marcos Lopez to face charges for violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1326(a)(2(b)(2), for re-entering after a previous removal subsequent to a conviction for commission of an aggravated felony.
“Our officers are always vigilant in identifying individuals who are illegally present in the island,” stated Edwin Cruz, San Juan Area Port Director.
Mr. Torres-Garcia was encountered at the Pan American Dock in Isla Grande, attempting to board the Caribbean Fantasy Ferry outbound to the City of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. When the CBP officers, conducting inspections as authorized by federal law, asked for proof of authorized stay he presented a passport of the Dominican Republic under his name, with no valid visa or entry stamp.
In secondary inspection, a biometric database revealed that the defendant was physically removed from the United States to the Dominican Republic in 1996, 1998 and 1999. On Oct. 2015, plead guilty for Obstruction of Justice and Contempt to the court in violation to article 246 and 279 of the Puerto Rico Penal code, and sentenced to 45 days of imprisonment.
He admitted that he entered the United States without inspection on or about June 2014.
CBP enforcement officers presented the case to on duty Assistant US Attorney Evelyn Canals for prosecution.
If convicted, Mr. Torres-Garcia could be fined, imprisoned not more than 20 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.