LAREDO, Texas – A federal judge has imposed a guilty verdict against a 57-year-old Mexican man of illegally re-entering the United States after previously being removed, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo immediately handed down a guilty verdict against Antonio Montes-Ortiz following a bench trial. Montes-Ortiz is a citizen of Mexico who was found illegally present within the United States. He was previously convicted twice of the same crime.
On Feb. 15, law enforcement found Montes-Ortiz walking in the brush near a creek that leads to the Rio Grande River on Highway 83 near Zapata. At that time, he admitted he was a citizen from Mexico and entered the country by wading across the river.
During trial, the judge heard that Montes-Ortiz had been ordered deported on Dec. 20, 1996. He has since been convicted twice for re-entry by deported alien. A fingerprint expert also testified that Montes-Ortiz’s fingerprints matched those on the deportation documents.
An official from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also provided testimony that Montes-Ortiz did not seek permission to reapply for admission into the United States.
Montes-Ortiz is set for sentencing on Nov. 15. At that time, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
He has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
Customs and Border Protection conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gerard A. Cantu and Leslie Cortez are prosecuting the case.