Mexican to be deported again following arrest
Mexican to be deported again following arrest in Pueblo
By Robert Boczkiewicz
DENVER — A Mexican national who came to the United States when he was 5 years old and later worked in Rocky Ford has been sentenced to four months in federal prison.
Erik Ramirez-Acuna pleaded guilty to illegally entering the U.S. after having been deported. He was arrested in February in Pueblo by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and taken into custody.
Ramirez, 23, was sentenced in Denver by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer of the U.S. District Court for Colorado.
“Mr. Ramirez, against the better judgment of his wife, decided to return to try and join his family and restart his life in the only country he has ever really known,” his attorney, Timothy P. O’Hara, wrote in a filing to the judge.
O’Hara, a public defender, wrote in the filing that his client earlier had helped open an auto body shop and ran a taco stand during the summer in the Rocky Ford area.
Ramirez was convicted in 2016 in Otero County District Court of criminal mischief, a felony, and sentenced to 12 days in jail and put on probation.
A federal immigration judge ordered Ramirez deported. The reasons are believed to be that he was not legally authorized to be in the U.S. and because of his felony conviction.
ICE deported him in December. He crossed back into the U.S. in January.
For a reason not stated in court documents, Ramirez came to the attention of ICE deportation officer Omar Lawton in February in Pueblo.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Colorado obtained an indictment again him.
A U.S. District Court judge decided Ramirez would not be released on a bond because he had failed in past years to appear on 10 occasions for official government proceedings and had failed to comply with conditions of federal supervision on 5 occasions.
Friday’s new prison term will be in addition to the months he has been in custody since February. Then, he will be deported again.
The judge cautioned Ramirez not to return illegally again to the U.S. because he would face a much longer prison term.
“He’s got to stay on the right side of the law and the right side of the border,” Brimmer said.
Federal court guidelines recommended a term in a range of 4-10 months in prison.
The judge said Ramirez could be successful and support his family by staying in Mexico. His wife and family intend to move there, although they are U.S. citizens, his attorney said.
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