Paulino Luna-Gonzalez, 45, a Mexican citizen, pled guilty today in federal court to illegally re-entering the United States after being deported six times.

Evidence presented to the court showed that on May 13, 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) discovered Luna-Gonzalez while he was in custody at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County, South Carolina, on state charges. Immigration records revealed that Luna-Gonzalez was a native and citizen of Mexico who had previously been deported from the United States on five separate occasions.  Luna-Gonzalez has never received permission to enter or remain in the United States.

Luna-Gonzalez now faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.  United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Luna-Gonzalez after receiving and reviewing a presentencing report prepared by the United States Probation Office.

The charges against Luna-Gonzalez were the result of an investigation by ICE-Enforcement and Removal Operations in Charleston, South Carolina, with the assistance of the Horry County Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney A. Bradley Parham of the Florence office is prosecuting the case.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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