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Guatemalan man caught living in Waterloo sent to prison for Illegally reentering United States after being deported

CEDAR RAPIDS – A man who illegally returned to the United States after being deported was sentenced today to more than three months in federal prison.

Gabriel Felix-Manuel, age 33, a citizen of Guatemala illegally present in the United States and residing in Waterloo, Iowa, received the prison term after a December 19, 2019, guilty plea to one count of illegal reentry into the United States.

In a plea agreement, Felix-Manuel admitted he had previously been deported from the United States and illegally reentered the United States without the permission of the United States government.  On January 16, 2008, Felix-Manuel was ordered deported from the United States in absentia.  His whereabouts were unknown until he was arrested on an unrelated state charge in Florida in February 2010.  Felix-Manuel was deported in March 2010.

On October 22, 2019, Felix-Manuel came to the attention of immigration agents during a traffic stop in Waterloo where he admitted being in the United States illegally.  Further investigation showed that Felix-Manuel had been working illegally in Waterloo since May 2019, falsely claiming to be a permanent legal resident of the United States and using the social security number of another person for employment purposes.

Felix-Manuel was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Felix-Manuel was sentenced to 96 days’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a one-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Felix-Manuel is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be turned over to immigration officials.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and investigated by Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations.

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