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Two Dominican Republic Nationals Indicted By Grand Jury As Being Illegal Aliens

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A federal grand jury on Thursday returned indictments against two Dominican Republic nationals charging that they were illegal aliens.

A federal Grand Jury returned separate indictments against Ezequiel Rivera Gomez aka Francisco Mejia, 44, and Luis Miguel Recio Fernandez, 29, alleging that they illegally re-entered the United States after having been previously deported, U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert said.

Rivera Gomez and Recio Fernandez remain in federal custody pending their individual trials.

The indictment against Gomez alleges that he was previously removed from the United States on or about March 1, 2016, after having been convicted of a drug trafficking offense.

The indictment against Fernandez alleges that on or about July 20, 2012, he too was previously
removed from the United States after committed a drug trafficking offense.

Under federal law, both men face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Shappert reminds the public that an indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

These cases are being investigated by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

They are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard Potter.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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