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Two South American Men Get Seven Weeks In Prison For Illegal Entry

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – Two South American men were given just over seven weeks in prison for coming to the United States illegally.

Dionis Luiz Gomez, 31, of Venezuela and Roman Perez Hernandez, 34, of Argentina were sentenced today to 52 days for illegal entry, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller also ordered Gomez and Hernandez to each pay a $10 special assessment.

According to court documents, on October 21, 2018 at approximately 9:00 p.m., agents of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) were patrolling the coastline of St. John near Haulover Bay, USVI when they encountered a Virgin Islands registered vessel with no running lights illuminated.

Upon further inspection, the agents determined that there were five males onboard, including defendants Gomez and Hernandez.The vessel was on course to an area that is not a port of entry authorized by the United StatesDepartment of Homeland Security.

Following his apprehension by federal law enforcement, defendant Gomez was read his Miranda Rights in Spanish language and waived his rights both verbally and in writing. He stated that he had arrived in Tortola, BVI on September 27, 2018. Neither Gomez nor Hernandez were U.S. citizens, but were nationals of Venezuela and Argentina, respectively.

Gomez and Hernandez did not have permission to enter the United Statesand the area where the boat was stopped was not a designated port of entry.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Unit (AMO).

It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte.

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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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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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