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Mexican national pleads guilty to illegally entering US 8 times

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Mexican national pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to illegally entering the United States for the eighth time.

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

Jesus Vargas-Melendez, 40, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Maughmer to unlawfully reentering the United States after having been previously deported.

By pleading guilty, Vargas-Melendez admitted that he illegally entered the United States eight times and had been deported on seven prior occasions. Vargas-Melendez was arrested Oct. 17, 2019, and convicted of illegal dumping. He has been previously removed from the U.S. on the following dates: Sept. 10, 1998; Oct. 17, 2000; June 10, 2003; Oct. 2, 2009; Nov. 5, 2010; Jan. 22, 2011; and April 13, 2011.

Vargas-Melendez has two prior federal convictions for illegally entering the United States.

Under federal statutes, Vargas-Melendez is subject to a sentence of up to two years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley Cooper.

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