An illegal immigrant from Mexico was sentenced this month for being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition after re-entering the U.S. after being deported.
Navor Salas-Cruz, 45, faces 30 months in prison. Cruz was sentenced by a U.S. district judge on Aug. 20.
He lived on Hawaii’s Kauai Island and was deported July 10, 2008, after being convicted of re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported earlier this month.
Cruz re-entered the U.S. again and was apprehended by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on Kauai on Dec. 15, 2017.
Upon his arrest, HSI found that Cruz was in possession of three firearms, including a 12-gauge shotgun and two pistols, and numerous rounds of ammunition.
Cruz was sentenced by U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright and will be deported after he serves his prison sentence.
Cruz’s arrest was a collaboration of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations and the Kauai Police Department.
— ICE (@ICEgov) August 24, 2018
Kenji Price, U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said, “This office is committed to protecting the community by promoting the integrity of the immigration system. The efforts of local and federal law enforcement officers in locating this defendant and disarming him is a testament to their tireless efforts to keep our community safe.”
Frank Cabaddu, Acting Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Honolulu, said, “This sentence demonstrates that there are serious consequences for those who lack respect for our nation’s laws or our borders. HSI will continue to work with DOJ and our law enforcement partners to take dangerous recidivists or other felony offenders off our streets and help to disrupt other types of criminal activity.”
This case was initiated as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.
Undocumented immigrants with a criminal record or who pose a threat to national security remain a priority for ICE, The Atlantic reported.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January 2017 to expand the number of undocumented immigrants who are considered “priorities for removal.” Priorities include immigrants convicted of serious crimes, including gang members, convicted felons or those convicted of multiple misdemeanors.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that ICE will no longer exempt any class of individuals from removal proceedings if they are found to be in the country illegally.