Man previously convicted of robbery, kidnapping pleads guilty to reentering US illegally

Man previously convicted of robbery, kidnapping pleads guilty to reentering US illegally
Gavel on sounding block (Source: Gray News)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Prosecutors say a man previously convicted of robbery and kidnapping in Virginia has pleaded guilty to reentering the United States illegally.

“According to court documents, from 2002 to 2003, Aureliano Escorcia-Martinez, 37, illegally entered the United States on six separate occasions, was apprehended each time on the border by the U.S. Border Patrol, and then voluntarily returned to Mexico,” a release said.

Officials said sometime after his last voluntary return to Mexico, he illegally re-entered the United States for the seventh time and made his way to Virginia, where he committed and was convicted of robbery and kidnapping in the Circuit Court for Henrico County.

He was sentenced to 15 years for robbery and 10 years for kidnapping, however, all but two years and five months of the sentences were suspended.

“Over the past 18 years, Mr. Escorcia-Martinez has illegally entered or attempted to enter the United States at least eight times, has been convicted of robbery and kidnapping, and was in custody this time for drunk driving,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This recidivist behavior reflects a blatant disregard for our nation’s laws and borders, and represents a clear threat to public safety. The Department of Justice is committed to prioritizing criminal immigration enforcement, and this case reflects that continuing commitment.”

Prosecutors said Escorcia-Martinez was physically removed from the United States in Dec. 2009 but sometime later he reentered for the eighth time.

In March, he was arrested for driving while intoxicated and indicted on the instant federal charges after authorities learned of his illegal reentry, officials said.

“This man committed serious crimes in our community — burglary, robbery, and driving under the influence,” said Lyle Boelens, Acting Washington Field Office Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). “His repeated egregious disregard for the law, including immigration law, demonstrates he is a threat to the public. ICE is committed to identifying and removing individuals who break our immigration laws and pose a threat to public safety.”

Escorcia-Martinez pleaded guilty to illegal reentry and faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced in November.

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