Friday, November 04, 2011
US Citizen Caught With Drugs Avoids Prison by Posing as Illegal Immigrant

Scenario 'not unusual,' says immigration official

US Citizen Caught With Drugs Avoids Prison by Posing as Illegal Immigrant

An American citizen who thought deportation would be preferable to incarceration told police that he was an illegal immigrant in order to be sent to Mexico instead of prison – and it worked.

Jaime Alvarado, 27, from Salt Lake City, was arrested in Feb. 2010 for possession of "cocaine and heroin with an intent to distribute," reported ABC News, and told police that he was Saul Quiroz, an illegal immigrant from Mexico.

After pleading guilty, police handed him over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and instead of the 15-year sentence he would have been given had he been honest about his identity, Alvarado, aka Saul Quiroz, was given a one-way ticket to Mexico.

According to the Daily Mail, Alvarado "exploited" the fact that officials are allegedly more willing to send foreign offenders back to their country instead of trying to fit them into already overcrowded prisons.

Eventually, Alvarado came back to the U.S. under his real name using his American passport. Everything seemed fine until he was re-arrested in April of this year and was about to be sent to the ICE again before he confessed his true, American identity.

Alvarado was then released from prison in June, with everything seeming to be over. However, authorities eventually figured out the ruse and on Oct. 31, issued a warrant for the arrest of the man previously known to Utah authorities as "Saul Quiroz."

This time, however, Alvarado is pleading instead of fleeing in order to avoid hard time.

"I know I made a poor choice by lying to you guys a year ago. I was afraid to go to prison," he wrote in a letter to the judge presiding over his case.

"I have a good job right now, a lot of little girls waiting for me and a family that will support me," he added. "It's my first offense and my last. I want to spend the rest of my life with my kids."

In a separate letter from Alvarado's fiance, Anelia Carballo, said her future husband has made "a 360-degree turnaround" and was a good father to their daughter together as well as her other four girls, ABC News reported.

According to The Associated Press, ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said it is not rare for American citizens to claim being an illegal immigrant and face deportation in order to avoid going to prison.


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