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Native of Mexico Deported From Texas in 2017 Will Be Deported From St. Croix

CHRISTIANSTED – Manuel Alberto Fuentes-Acosta, 46, a citizen of Mexico, was sentenced Thursday for re-entry of removed alien, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Visiting U.S. District Court Judge Anne Thompson sentenced Fuentes-Acosta to time served and a $100 special assessment. Fuentes-Acosta had been detained from November 2018. He pled guilty February 4, 2019.

According to the plea agreement filed in court on November 9, 2018, while seeking to board the American Airlines flight, the defendant presented himself to CBP primary inspection at the Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix.

Fuentes-Acosta advised the primary officer that he was illegally in the United States. He was referred to secondary inspection where he repeated to the secondary officer that he was in the United States illegally and did not have a visa.

The defendant was arrested and told Homeland Security agents that he entered the United States in 1996 illegally and was deported in 2017 from Laredo, Texas. The defendant stated that he remained in Mexico and subsequently returned to the United States without inspection.

He further stated he paid a smuggler $2,000 to $3,000 to transport him into the United States by crossing the river from Mexico to Del Rio, Texas in April 2018.

The investigation revealed that Fuentes-Acosta was deported on June 1, 2017 from Laredo, Texas to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and that he did not obtain consent from the Attorney General to re-enter the United States.

The case was investigated by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rhonda Williams-Henry.

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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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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 50 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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