50-year-old Juan Antonio Martinez-Alonso, a citizen of Mexico, pled guilty Tuesday, January 23, before U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden to the crime of unlawful re-entry by an alien previously convicted of a felony, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Joseph Banco, Chief Patrol Agent of the U.S. Border Patrol’s New Orleans Sector.
Martinez-Alonso is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Ozerden on April 23, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. He faces a potential maximum 10 years imprisonment, not more than 3 years supervised release, a maximum $250,000 fine, and a special assessment of $100.
Martinez-Alonso was discovered to have re-entered the county illegally on November 28th of 2017 when a truck in which Martinez-Alonso was a passenger was stopped by a Gautier police officer on Interstate-10 in Jackson County for speeding. While the truck was designed to seat five people, the police officer observed that, in addition to the driver, there were six additional passengers in the vehicle. The passengers provided Mexican identification documents and they could not be identified by the driver. The U.S. Border Patrol was notified, and a Border Patrol Agent responded to the scene.
“During the investigation, it was determined that none of the passengers had proper documentation and all were illegally present in the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst. “All six passengers of the vehicle were arrested. Further investigation revealed that one of the passengers, Martinez- Alonso, had been previously convicted in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico of the offense of Re-entry by a Removed Alien, a felony.”
U.S. Attorney Hurst praised the cooperation exhibited by the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Border Patrol, and the Gautier Police Department.
New Orleans Sector Border Patrol Chief Joseph Banco stated: “Our goal is to enhance border security in the Gulf Coast region in order to disrupt and degrade smuggling operations.”