Resident Agent Arrest Nets Prosecution
Minot, ND - United States Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on February 28, Eduardo Moreno-Othon, 38, of Mexico, was sentenced to serve three years and five months in federal prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release before United States District Judge Daniel L. Hovland on a charge of reentry of a deported alien. Moreno-Othon pleaded guilty to the charges on November 29, 2010.
In September 2010, a prospective employer in Williston, North Dakota, became suspicious of certain documents that Moreno-Othon presented in application for employment. The employer contacted local law enforcement officials who requested assistance from the United States Border Patrol in Williston. Border Patrol agents discovered that Moreno-Othon had previously been deported from the United States in 2004. Prior to his 2004 deportation, Moreno-Othon had been convicted of a felony drug trafficking offense in Oklahoma state court and served approximately eight months in state prison. The Federal sentencing guidelines call for increased sentences when such an individual has been deported subsequent to certain felony convictions.
In Bismarck, United States Attorney Timothy Purdon said, "This case is the result of an innovative approach to extending border security by our local Border Patrol Resident Agents in Williston. These Resident Agents' actions in enhancing partnerships with local law enforcement, intelligence and liaison development, and community outreach led to the referral of this matter to Border Patrol and to the arrest and conviction of this previously deported alien. We congratulate Border Patrol on their fine work in this case."
The case was investigated by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol Resident Agents located in Williston, and the Williston Police Department.
The Resident Agent Program is a pilot program in Grand Forks Sector that places Border Patrol agents in strategic locations that do not currently have a strong Border Patrol presence. The inherent benefit of this plan is the expansion of operational coverage and reduced response time to these areas. Resident Agents facilitate the sector's ability to establish operational control of the border in accordance with the National Border Patrol Strategy. These agents have been tasked with the development of partnerships, intelligence and community outreach and expanding the sector's defense-in-depth capability. Resident Agents have provided an unprecedented level of situational awareness within the Grand Forks Sector. This situational awareness has been leveraged to benefit DHS, CBP- Border Patrol, Field Offices, and the Air and Marine Branch.
There are currently 12 Resident Agent locations within the Grand Forks Sector. They are:
- Williston, ND
- Stanley, ND
- Mohall, ND
- Minot, ND
- Rugby, ND
- Rolla, ND
- Langdon, ND
- Karlstad, MN
- Bemidji, MN
- Baudette, MN
- Virginia, MN
- Ashland, WI
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.