RICHMOND, Va. – A Mexican national recently convicted of his third Driving Under the Influence charge within the previous two years pleaded guilty today to illegally reentering the United States.
According to court documents, Rafael Nepamuceno-Hernandez, 29, first illegally entered the United States in August of 2009, when he was apprehended near the border by the U.S. Border Patrol. He was subsequently prosecuted for and convicted of illegally entering the United States. Five days after his removal to Mexico, Border Patrol Agents again apprehended Nepamuceno-Hernandez in the United States, and he was later again removed to Mexico. Sometime after this second removal, Nepamuceno-Hernandez again illegally reentered the United States, and eventually made his way to Virginia. While in Virginia, Nepamuceno-Hernandez was convicted of Driving Under the Influence on three separate occasions between November of 2018 and June of 2020.
Nepamuceno-Hernandez pleaded guilty to illegal reentry, and faces a maximum penalty of two years years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 14, 2021. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Lyle Boelens, Acting Director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Washington Field Office, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas A. Garnett is prosecuting the case.