Monday, August 20, 2012

Narcotics Dealer Convicted, Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison

Tucson, Ariz. – A 36-year-old man from Nayarit, Mexico, apprehended by Ajo Station Border Patrol agents in December 2011, was sentenced in June to 41 months of confinement.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted Gerardo Benitez-Jimenez, aka Damian Perez Virgen, after his apprehension for attempting to illegally re-enter the United States as an aggravated felon following a previous deportation. During processing in December, agents used the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) to learn that Benitez-Jimenez was convicted for sale/transport of a controlled substance in 2004 and sentenced to one year in prison. In 2007, he was convicted for possession or purchase for sale of cocaine and was sentenced to three years in prison. Both convictions were out of Los Angeles County, Calif.

Following the Border Patrol’s initial processing, the case was submitted to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution. Benitez-Jimenez will be formally removed from the U.S. following his 41-month incarceration and is now banned for life from any legalization process.

All illegal immigrants apprehended by the Border Patrol undergo criminal history checks using IAFIS. This vital tool accesses criminal records throughout the United States, enabling agents to quickly identify violent criminals and wanted persons.

The Tucson Sector Border Patrol is committed to ensuring America’s borders remain safe, and that dangerous individuals are prevented from making it further into the interior of the United States and into our communities.

As part of a targeted enforcement strategy, the Tucson Sector places individuals into impact programs designed to influence their decision not to commit a subsequent illegal entry. One impact program involves individuals with prior criminal convictions being prosecuted in federal court.

Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity and remain anonymous by calling the Border Patrol at (877) 872-7435 toll free.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

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