A man local authorities claim to be a major source of powder cocaine in western Rowan County, North Carolina, is now facing deportation for the second time. The federal immigration charges came about after an arrest in a September drug bust where he was charged with three felony drug trafficking charges and one conspiracy to traffic charge, all for cocaine.
The North Carolina man had one kilogram, or $50,000 worth, of cocaine in his possession at the time of the September 2010 drug bust. Apparently, authorities claim this man, who goes by multiple names, was the same man already deported once from the U.S. in January of 2008 after being convicted in Texas of immigrating to the U.S. illegally. After being deported in 2008, it is suspected he re-entered the United States later that same year.
Though the man did receive a conviction of a misdemeanor in North Carolina at the end of 2008 in connection with providing police false information, he was going by a different name at the time and was not discovered by local authorities. Not until the recent September arrest was he fingerprinted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement department and revealed as a previously deported illegal immigrant. The man has been held on a nearly $1 million bond since his September drug arrest.
In connection with his prior deportation, the man has also now been charged with illegal re-entry into the country by a once-removed illegal alien. During a December hearing, the man claimed his innocence in regards to his alleged illegal entry into the country, though changed his plea in January in exchange for a plea agreement for a reduced sentence of no longer than two years in prison with an optional probationary period limit of one year and a $250,000 fine maximum. The man's sentencing is scheduled for completion in Greensboro, North Carolina, this coming May.
Source: SalisburyPost.com "Man in drug case facing immigration charges" by Shavonne Potts 2/24/11