Guatemalan felon sentenced in Iowa to 22 months in prison for illegally re-entering US after deportation

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A Guatemalan man, who was previously convicted of two federal identity theft felonies, was sentenced Tuesday to 22 months in federal prison for illegally re-entering the United States after having been deported.

This sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Benjamin Aguilar-Ramirez, 35, who resided in Waterloo, Iowa, pleaded guilty to the charges Jan. 11.  

As part of his plea, Aguilar-Ramirez admitted that as a convicted felon he was lawfully deported from the United States on May 5, 2017, and that he illegally re-entered the country without the permission of the U.S. government.  

Aguilar-Ramirez was previously convicted on March 8, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, on one count of unlawfully using identification documents, and one count of misusing a social security number, both of which are federal felonies.  On the document fraud convictions, Aguilar-Ramirez was sentenced to 114 days’ imprisonment and a three-year term of supervised release.  

On Nov. 13, 2017, Aguilar-Ramirez was discovered by immigration officers at the Black Hawk County Jail in Waterloo, Iowa, following his local arrest for violating a State of Iowa No Contact Order.  

Aguilar-Ramirez was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Linda R. Reade to 16 months’ imprisonment on the illegal re-entry conviction.  He was also sentenced to another six months’ imprisonment for violating the terms of his supervised release on the document fraud convictions.  Both sentences are to be served consecutively totaling 22 months.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release on the illegal re-entry conviction after he completes his prison sentence.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Aguilar-Ramirez is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service until he can be transported to a federal prison.

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