A Mexican national who was arrested last week near East Dixfield village by a border patrol agent for returning to this country without proper authorization appeared before a federal judge in the state of Maine on Tuesday, April 19th.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agent John A. Crosby Jr. wrote in an affidavit filed in federal court that Lucio Gutierrez-Juarez, 31, should be charged with illegal reentry after removal, a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
Crosby wrote in court papers that Franklin County Sheriff’s Office deputies had stopped a 2019 white Ford van on U.S. Route 2 near East Dixfield for speeding, traveling 64 mph in a 35 mph zone at about 6 a.m. on Thursday.
Deputies called for a border patrol agent and Crosby was dispatched to the scene, he wrote.
Gutierrez-Juarez was one of 17 people in the van. The driver and front-seat passengers were U.S. citizens from Florida, but the 15 passengers in the back of the van carried Mexican identification cards and identified themselves to Crosby as Mexican nationals.
“Each admitted to having no valid immigration documents and no pending petitions or applications to remain in the United States,” Crosby wrote in his affidavit.
Gutierrez-Juarez was charged with the federal felony Friday.
Through research, Crosby wrote that he learned Gutierrez-Juarez had been twice detained and removed from the United States, once in 2009, and again in 2017, both times from Arizona to Mexico.
Speaking through a Spanish interpreter from Somerset County Jail in Madison on Tuesday, Gutierrez-Juarez appeared by videoconference in an orange jail suit at the virtual court hearing.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge John C. Nivison on Tuesday appointed an attorney to defend Gutierrez-Juarez against the charge because he was unable to afford a lawyer.
Gutierrez-Juarez waived his right Tuesday to a hearing on probable cause to arrest and charge him as well as his right to a bail hearing.
He will be held at the jail without bail until his trial or his case is resolved before trial, as requested by prosecutors.