An illegal alien from Mexico who had “several” previous deportations was sentenced for fentanyl trafficking, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday.
The DOJ sentenced Jesus Gracielo Garcia-Vega, 35, to more than six years imprisonment for reentering the U.S. and possessing fentanyl with the intention to distribute, according to the DOJ. Garcia-Vega was last deported in 2016 before he reentered the country illegally in 2020, according to a court document.
He was initially charged with possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, which carries a 10 year mandatory minimum sentence, before reaching a plea agreement, according to the court filing.
Garcia-Vega gave a confidential government source fentanyl in Massachusetts in 2022, according to the DOJ. The next day, Garcia-Vega drove to an outlet mall with a kilogram of fentanyl in a laundry bag to sell to the confidential source before he was stopped and arrested on I-495. (RELATED: Biden Admin Deported Fewer Than 100 Illegal Migrants In Key Program After Promising To Increase Removals At Southern Border)
Garcia-Vega pleaded guilty on March 20, according to a court document.
Fentanyl is largely responsible for the roughly 107,000 drug overdose deaths that occurred in 2022, according to provisional Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.
“Fentanyl is an incredibly serious threat to public safety as it can have fatal consequences even in very small amounts. Mr. Garcia-Vega tried to pump a kilogram of this poison into our communities. It’s particularly disturbing that he engaged in this criminal behavior after entering this country unlawfully following several deportations,” Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy said in a statement Thursday.
Garcia-Vega was also convicted in 2008 for illegally entering the U.S., and later returned with four pounds of marijuana, which led to him receiving a two and a half year sentence, according to a court document. He served 15 months of his previous sentence and was deported.
Border authorities encountered Garcia-Vega at least four times between 2009 and 2011, according to a court document. He returned in 2012 and received a 46 month sentence for illegal reentry.
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