Two illegal aliens from Mexico found in Mississippi plead guilty to federal charges

Published 2:59 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Two 21-year-old Mexican citizens pleaded guilty Monday to reentering the U.S. illegally in U.S. District Court in Mississippi.

Jose Garcia Faustino and Ernesto Santiago-Baltazar, both 21, pleaded guilty Monday before Senior U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. to unlawful reentry by an alien after removal, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Special Agent in Charge Jere T. Miles with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans, and Gregory K. Bovino, Chief Patrol Agent of the U.S. Border Patrol’s New Orleans Sector.

Garcia Faustino and Santiago-Baltazar are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Guirola on June 6. They each face a maximum penalty of 2 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. They also faced removal from the United States following the completion of any prison sentence.

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On or about Jan. 28, 2019, an interdiction agent with the South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team conducted a lawful traffic stop on a GMC Yukon XL with South Carolina license plates on interstate I-10 eastbound in Jackson County. The agent observed a total of eight occupants in the vehicle (2 drivers and 6 passengers), which included Garcia Faustino and Santiago-Baltazar as passengers.

Border Patrol Agents arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, and interviewed the occupants of the vehicle as to their citizenships, determining none had proper documents and all were illegally present in the United States. All eight vehicle occupants were illegal aliens from Mexico. All occupants were arrested and transported to the Border Patrol Station in Gulfport.

A Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent joined Border Patrol Agents and determined the six passengers were being smuggled within the United States. Further investigation revealed that both men are citizens of Mexico and had previously been ordered removed from the United States.

U.S. Attorney Hurst praised the cooperation exhibited by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Border Patrol, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and the City of Gautier Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Stan Harris is the prosecutor for the case.