San Juan, Puerto Rico - Pedro Mendoza-Contreras, a citizen of the Dominican Republic appeared today before federal District Magistrate Judge Camille Velez-Rive facing charges for violation of immigration law after entering illegally into the island.
In the hearing, the defendant was charged with a violation to Title 8, United States Code, Section 1326, which prohibits the re-entry of a previously removed alien.
On Friday, San Juan Municipal Police Department requested assistance from the U.S. Border Patrol in Aguadilla, to determine the alienage of a detained subject, held in custody for driving without a valid driver's license and involved in a traffic accident.
Border Patrol agents interviewed Mr. MENDOZA-Contreras, who claimed to be a citizen and national of the Dominican Republic illegally present in the United States, admitting to illegally entering the on July 15, 2008 at or near Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.
Mr. Mendoza-Contreras was subsequently placed under arrest and transported to the Ramey Border Patrol Station for immigration processing.
The defendant's fingerprints were taken and compared to Immigration databases, revealing that a prior removal to the Dominican Republic on Dec. 23, 2006.
Border Patrol presented the case to the Immigration Unit of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Puerto Rico for prosecution.
United States Attorney Evelyn Canals will prosecute the case.
Defendant Mendoza-Contreras faces a fine or imprisonment for not more than two years, 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.