Wednesday, January 31st 2018, 2:12 pm PST
Wednesday, January 31st 2018, 2:12 pm PST

Two men found in New Hanover County have been charged with reentering the country illegally and one who has a previous conviction is facing up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

According to a US Department of Justice news release, Juan Alvarez-Gutierrez, 39, of Mexico, and Marcio Santos-Portillo, 44, of Honduras, were indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with illegal reentry of a deported alien.

Santo-Portillo is alleged to have been previously deported for a felony conviction on a 2010 evading arrest charge in Texas. He was deported to Honduras on March 21, 2011.

On Jan. 9, 2018, a Department of Homeland Security agent saw Santos-Portillo at a Wilmington business and after agents matched photos in immigration and law enforcement databases to Santos-Portillo, he was questioned on Jan. 16.

During questioning, Santos-Portillo admitted he never had a visa to enter the US legally, had been deported before and knew it was a violation of federal law for him to reenter the country. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Alvarez-Gutierrez was arrested by local authorities in New Hanover County and charged with driving while impaired on Dec. 31, 2017.

On Sept. 28, 2009, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents encountered Alvarez-Gutierrez at the Office of Adult Probation in Brunswick County and he was determined to be unlawfully in the country.

Alvarez-Gutierrez was ordered to return to Mexico on Dec. 14, 2009, but was in Texas on Jan. 5, 2010, when he was warned of penalties for reentry and removed from Texas to Mexico.

If convicted, Alvarez-Gutierrez faces a maximum of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.