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Friday, September 8, 2006 9:53 AM CDT
Illegal Alien Sentenced To Prison

By John Lyon

Times Record ē

A native of Mexico who was apprehended in Van Buren after being deported from the U.S. was sentenced Thursday in federal court to eight years and four months in prison.

At a trial in U.S. District Court in Fort Smith in June, Miguel Angel Facundo-Guzman was found guilty of illegally re-entering the U.S. after being deported. Van Buren police Cpl. Mike Bowman testified at the trial that he stopped Facundo-Guzman on Oct. 5 for speeding on Interstate 40 and arrested him after learning he was wanted by immigration officials.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Vence Carmack testified that according to ICE records, Facundo-Guzman was deported in 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2002.

Facundo-Guzmanís public defender, James Pierce, argued that the government failed to prove Facundo-Guzman was an illegal alien. He said that although Facundo-Guzman admitted after being stopped that he was born in Mexico, he made the statement while scared and nervous.

The jury deliberated for about 20 minutes before returning a guilty verdict.

Facundo-Guzman was back in court Thursday to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert T. Dawson. His sentence was enhanced because his deportation in 2000 followed a 1998 burglary conviction in Los Angeles.

Facundo-Guzman is expected to be deported to Mexico after he completes his prison term.