BANGOR, Maine — Two Central American men arrested Monday in Monticello made their first court appearances Wednesday in U.S. District Court.
Gil Mejia-Baires, 69, of Portland and Ernesto Amadeo Escoto-Kelinton, 43, of Brookneal, Va., were charged with one count each of possession of false identification. Both men are from Honduras.
Both men admitted to arresting officers that they were in the country illegally and had fake Social Security cards, according to the complaint.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk ordered that both men be held without bail until a hearing can be held May 8.
The men drew the attention of an undercover border patrol agent patrolling U.S. Route 1 in the Houlton area because they were in a van with a Virginia license plate. It is unusual for out-of-state vehicles to be in the area on a Monday, according to the complaint.
After Escoto-Kelinton pulled into a parking lot just inside the Monticello town line, the agent followed the van. After questioning the men and examining their documents, he determined they were in the country illegally and had fake documents.
If convicted, the men face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000. They most likely would be deported and barred from re-entering the U.S. after serving their sentences.