June 18, 2018
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3 get time served for false papers

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Three men have been sentenced in U.S. District Court to time served in two separate immigration fraud cases.

Ismael Ramirez de Ochoa, 38, and Javier Colegio, 40, both Mexican nationals who worked in Maine’s blueberry industry, were sentenced Wednesday.

Marcelo Alejandro Silva-Bonilla, 33, a native of Uruguay who had been living in Presque Isle, was sentenced Tuesday.

All three pleaded guilty earlier this year to possession of fraudulent immigration documents.

De Ochoa and Colegio were among five Mexican men arrested in December who had submitted false documents when they sought employment with Jasper Wyman & Son, according to court documents. The men were arrested Dec. 10 after an inspection of the company’s employment records conducted last year by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

No charges have been filed against the company.

Jose Erasmo Avelar Menuibar, 23, and Fredi Perez, 23, were sentenced to time served last month. Miguel Sepulveda, 33, is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

Silva-Bonilla was arrested Dec. 23, according to court documents, in the Houlton Border Patrol Station after he failed to provide valid identification to U.S. Border Patrol agents during a routine bus check.

The affidavit does not state where the bus on which Silva-Bonilla was a passenger was headed when he was removed for questioning.

Silva-Bonilla, according to court documents, entered the United States at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Jan. 22, 2001. His passport allowed him to stay for six months, but the man failed to return to his native Uruguay on July 22, 2001.

Silva-Bonilla also told agents that he was not supposed to work in the United States, but had held several jobs during the seven years he has been in the country illegally, according to court documents.

Court documents did not explain where Silva-Bonilla might have been working in Maine.

All of the men in both cases faced up to 10 years each in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000 each. After completing their sentencing, all are expected to be deported to their native countries.

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