Mexican man gets federal prison sentence for illegal reentry after six deportations

CEDAR RAPIDS — A man who illegally returned to the United States after being deported was sentenced to two years in federal prison on Monday.

Miguel Araujo-Rocha, age 38, a citizen of Mexico illegally present in the United States and residing in Tama, received the prison term after a Nov. 8, 2023, guilty plea to one count of illegal reentry into the United States after having been deported.

At the guilty plea, Araujo-Rocha admitted he had previously been deported from the United States and illegally re-entered the United States without the permission of the United States government. Araujo-Rocha was previously deported in April 2018, September 2018, October 2019, February 2021, September 2021, and October 2021.

On Oct. 6, 2023, immigration officials learned Araujo-Rocha had illegally returned to the United States and found Araujo-Rocha at the Tama County Jail following his arrest on state charges. Araujo-Rocha was previously convicted in the Western District of Texas in August 2018 and in February 2019 of illegally reentering the United States. He was also convicted in the Iowa District Court for Tama County in March 2014 of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and child endangerment for driving drunk with minor children in the car, including a two-year-old.

Araujo-Rocha also knowingly used a fraudulent Social Security card and alias to prove his authorization to work in the United States when he completed employment and tax forms in March 2022 at a business in Grinnell. The name and number on the Social Security card was a real Social Security number assigned to a United States citizen whose name was on the card.

Araujo-Rocha was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge C.J. Williams. Araujo-Rocha was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

Araujo-Rocha is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations.


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