SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Field Operations officers arrested Sunday a previously removed man attempting to board a flight to New York City.
Jose Oscar Marte-Payano, 35, citizen of the Dominican Republic appeared yesterday before the US District Court Magistrate Judge Marcos Lopez to face charges for re-entering after a previous removal or deportation.
“Persons that are illegally present in Puerto Rico must understand that CBP has the authority to inspect passengers departing on board domestic flights bound to the Continental United States” stated Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. “Our officers are always vigilant to find persons illegally present in the island.”
Mr. Marte-Payano was found yesterday at the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in Carolina, Puerto Rico, attempting to board a domestic flight bound to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. He presented a passport of the Dominican Republic as proof of identity, with no visa or entry stamp.
In secondary inspection, a biometric database revealed that Mr. Marte-Payano served time in 2004 after pleading guilty to the charge of Illegal Re-Entry. He admitted that he re-entered through western Puerto Rico in December 2004.
CBP field operations officers presented the case to the US Attorney’s Office who accepted it for prosecution.
If convicted, Mr. Marte-Payano 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.