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Armed, illegal Guatemalan man busted drunk driving in Iowa

SIOUX CITY – An armed, illegal Guatemalan man was busted drunk driving in Iowa and faces sentencing.

Sergio Mendez-Perez, 26, from Guatemala, pled guilty June 16, 2021, in federal court in Sioux City of illegal reentry and alien in possession of a firearm.

Evidence at the plea hearing showed that on March 17, 2021, Mendez-Perez was arrested in Woodbury County, Iowa for assault while displaying a dangerous weapon (.22 caliber firearm), interference with official acts – dangerous weapon, carrying a weapon, eluding, and operating under the influence – 1st offense. On March 18, 2021, ICE determined that Mendez-Perez is a citizen of Guatemala and was previously removed from the United States on one occasion. Mendez-Perez admitted that at the time he possessed the gun he knew he was illegally in the United States.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Mendez-Perez remains in custody of the United States Marshal and will remain in custody pending sentencing. On the illegal reentry conviction, Mendez-Perez faces a possible maximum sentence of 2 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and not more than one year of supervised release following any imprisonment. On the firearm conviction, Mendez-Perez faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and not more than 3 years of supervised release following imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick T. Greenwood and was investigated by Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Sioux City Police Department.

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