Judge mulls high sen­tence for crim­i­nal who en­tered U.S. il­le­gally four times

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - LOCAL PERSPECTIVES - BY FRANK GREEN fgreen@times­dis­patch.com (804) 649-6340

A Mex­i­can na­tional who has il­le­gally en­tered the U.S. four times, has used as many as 20 aliases and has been con­victed of 20 crimes over the years is set to be sen­tenced Thurs­day.

Vic­tor San­tos-Ochoa, 45, pleaded guilty in fed­eral court in Rich­mond on Feb. 14 to il­le­gal reen­try and will be sen­tenced by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hud­son, who gave no­tice that he is con­sid­er­ing a prison term above the fed­eral guide­line range of roughly three to four years.

He will be deported yet again after com­plet­ing his prison term.

It is not known when San­tos-Ochoa first en­tered the U.S., ac­cord­ing to court records. But the U.S. at­tor­ney’s office said in a fil­ing that be­tween 1992 and 2007, he was con­victed of 18 mis­de­meanors in Cal­i­for­nia, Ge­or­gia and Vir­ginia and spent eight of those 25 years in state and fed­eral prisons.

He was deported, ap­par­ently in 2007, and then reen­tered the U.S., show­ing up in Ch­ester­field County, where in 2008 he was con­victed of ma­li­cious wound­ing. Deported again, he was caught re-en­ter­ing the U.S. in Ari­zona in 2010, sen­tenced to 57 months and deported again.

He re­turned to Ch­ester­field, where he was con­victed of pos­ses­sion of mar­i­juana in 2016. Deported again, he re­turned and was most re­cently ar­rested in Ch­ester­field in Septem­ber for as­sault and bat­tery of a fam­ily mem­ber and an­other drug charge.

He has been in fed­eral cus­tody on the cur­rent im­mi­gra­tion vi­o­la­tion since Jan. 10.

In a sen­tenc­ing mem­o­ran­dum, S. David Schiller, an as­sis­tant U.S. at­tor­ney, is ask­ing Hud­son to im­pose a term at the high end of the guide­line range or a term of roughly five years, as had been pre­vi­ously im­posed in Ari­zona.

“Mul­ti­ple il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion vi­o­la­tions, cou­pled with dan­ger­ous crim­i­nal vi­o­la­tions while in this coun­try il­le­gally, makes the present vi­o­la­tion very se­ri­ous,” wrote Schiller in his mem­o­ran­dum.

San­tos-Ochoa’s lawyer, Nia Ayanna Vi­dal, is ask­ing Hud­son to im­pose a term within the guide­line range.

“Mr. San­tos-Ochoa is now 45 years of age. While his record of con­vic­tions be­gan at age 20 in 1993, most of his crim­i­nal his­tory con­sists of mis­de­meanor con­vic­tions,” she wrote in a sen­tenc­ing mem­o­ran­dum.

Vi­dal wrote that the govern­ment ex­ag­ger­ated his use of ap­prox­i­mately 20 aliases since seven listed names are vari­a­tions of his birth name and one is “John Doe.”

On May 3, Hud­son filed no­tice that he was con­tem­plat­ing a sen­tence higher than called for by fed­eral sen­tenc­ing guide­lines.

“This po­ten­tial vari­ance and/or de­par­ture is based on the de­fen­dant’s crim­i­nal his­tory, the need to pro­mote re­spect for the law, and the need to pro­vide ad­e­quate de­ter­rence to crim­i­nal con­duct,” the judge wrote.


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