BANGOR, Maine — One of five Mexican nationals taken into custody Monday at a Houlton motel has been charged with being in the country illegally.
Israel Cervantes-Medina, 26, whose hometown did not appear in court documents, was charged Tuesday in U.S. District Court with re-entry after deportation. He was ordered removed in September 2007 by an immigration judge in El Paso, Texas, according to court documents.
Cervantes-Medina told agents with the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement that he returned to the U.S. illegally in July.
He is expected to be held without bail until his case is resolved.
The four other Mexicans, who reportedly worked as carpet and tile layers, were being processed Tuesday for removal, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Bangor. If they return to the U.S. illegally, they could be charged with re-entry after deportation as their companion has been.
The five illegal aliens, according to court documents, were spotted Monday morning by a border patrol agent who reported seeing them “loitering” outside a room at the Shiretown Motel on U.S. Route 1 in Houlton. All five admitted to being in the country illegally.
A 24-year-old American woman, whose boyfriend was among the five taken into custody, told investigators that the group left North Carolina on Friday, stopping only for gas and food. They stayed Sunday night at a Millinocket motel but left about 1:30 a.m. Monday, according to court documents.
The plan, she told officials, was for her to drop the five off on the U.S. side so they could walk across the border into Canada at a remote location. Her boyfriend was to have called her to pick him and the others up once she had crossed the border legally.
Their plan went awry when she got lost in Canada, according to court documents. She found her way back across the border and met up with the group at the motel. She told officials that the group had not been able to find work in North Carolina but had headed to Canada when they heard work was plentiful there.
The woman, who was driving a van with North Carolina license plates, has not been charged.