Previously Removed Dominican Republic Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Reentering the United States

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

St. Croix, USVI – United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced that Reynaldo Mejia-Mejia, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, pleaded guilty yesterday in District Court before Magistrate Judge George W. Cannon, Jr. to illegally reentering the United States.

According to court documents, Reynaldo Mejia-Mejia, age 33, presented himself to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers for inspection to board a Spirit airlines flight from St. Croix, USVI to Fort Lauderdale, FL on March 23, 2022. He displayed a Washington State driver’s license in the name of another individual with a photo of his likeness as proof of identification to travel.

During questioning at the primary inspection, Mejia stated that he was born in Puerto Rico; however, the CBP officer noticed that Mejia’s accent sounded distinctive to the Dominican Republic. A subsequent fingerprint check positively identified Mr. Mejia-Mejia, and record checks revealed that he was previously deported by immigration officials in 2018 and 2019 from the United States to the Dominican Republic. CBP officers determined that Mejia-Mejia is not a citizen or national of the United States. Reynaldo Mejia-Mejia is in fact a citizen and national of the Dominican Republic, and he was not in possession of the required legal documents to be present or to enter the United States.

Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Ortiz is prosecuting the case. Mejia-Mejia is scheduled to be sentenced on August 18, 2022, and he faces a maximum penalty of two years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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