Tucson, Ariz. - A Mexican national apprehended by Nogales Border Patrol agents late last year for attempting to illegally enter the U.S. was sentenced to 51 months in prison on June 30.
The U.S. Attorney's office prosecuted Tomas Avila-Martinez after he was apprehended on November 23, 2010. During processing at the Nogales Station, the Integrated Automated Fingerprint System revealed that Avila was convicted in Los Angeles, Calif., on December 17, 1997 for possession of narcotics for sale of rohypnol in which he was sentenced to two years in prison. Rohypnol, also known as "roofies" is a controlled substance that can cause extreme drowsiness and amnesia and is commonly referred to as the date rape drug.
Records checks also indicated that Avila was previously deported from the U.S. Following initial processing, the Tucson Sector's prosecution unit submitted the case to the U.S. Attorney's office for re-entry of an aggravated felon. Following his incarceration for 51 months, Avila will be formally removed from the country.
All illegal aliens apprehended by the Border Patrol undergo criminal history checks using IAFIS. This vital tool accesses criminal records throughout the U.S., thereby assisting agents in quickly identifying violent criminals and wanted persons.
In January, the Tucson Sector Border Patrol implemented the Consequence Delivery System as an integral component of its enforcement strategy. The CDS centers on delivery a targeting consequence to illegal aliens and simultaneously seeks to disrupt the smuggling cycle and reduce recidivism rates by ensuring consequences are upheld to the full extent of the law. The CDS includes several different "impact" programs. Criminal prosecution is one of the impact programs which individuals with criminal records are criminally prosecuted and subject to jail time.
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the Department of Homeland Security has made significant investments toward establishing a secure and safe border environment and improving the quality of life throughout the communities in the state of Arizona.
The Border Patrol welcomes assistance from the community. Report suspicious activity by calling toll free (877) 872-7435. All calls will be answered and will remain anonymous.