United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Jose Melchor Martinez, 48, a resident of Church Point and a citizen of Mexico, has been arrested after being charged by a federal criminal complaint in U.S. District Court with re-entry of a removed alien. 

According to the criminal complaint filed on October 12, 2018, Martinez illegally re-entered the United States after being deported on September 6, 2003, and had not received permission from the U.S. Attorney General or the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to re-enter. According to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Martinez is considered to be one of their most wanted fugitives. For more information, see www.ice.gov/most-wanted/martinez-jose-melchor

The defendant faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release if convicted. 

The case was investigated by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Ayo. 

This matter will proceed in United States District Court in Lafayette, where the complaint is currently pending. A complaint is a temporary charge alleging a violation of law. For the case to proceed to trial, the United States must present the charge to a federal grand jury within 30 days. Once a grand jury returns an indictment, a defendant has a right to a jury trial at which the United States would have the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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