A former Lowell man was convicted yesterday by a federal trial jury of re-entering the United States after being deported.
United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Robin Avers, Special Agent
in Charge of Immigration and Custom Enforcement in Boston, announced today
that RAFAEL GARCIA, a/k/a “Dario Deleon”, age 35, formerly of Lowell,
Massachusetts, was convicted by a jury sitting before U.S. District Judge
Patti B. Saris of illegally re-entering the United States after being deported.
Evidence presented during the four day trial proved that GARCIA had
previously been arrested and convicted under the false identity as Dario
Deleon in 1995 in Quincy, Massachusetts for selling cocaine to an undercover
Quincy Police officer.
After his conviction in Quincy District Court Judge, GARCIA, still under the name of Dario Deleon, was ordered deported by a U.S.
Immigration Judge in June of 1995. At his deportation hearing, GARCIA told
the Judge that he was in the United States illegally and requested to be
deported to his native country of the Dominican Republic.
Unbeknownst to law enforcement and immigration officials, GARCIA in fact legally possessed a
“green card” under his actual name and was a permanent legal resident of the
The testimony at trial from Immigration officials was that GARCIA
concealed his true identity and possession of the green card in order to avoid
having the card revoked as a result of his deportation. As a result of
GARCIA’s deception, the green card remained valid. After being deported to
the Dominican Republic, GARCIA’s relatives sent the green card to him in the
Dominican Republic and he re-entered the United States in July of 1995.
GARCIA avoided detection by INS officials of his status as a deported alien
until he was arrested on a warrant by the Lawrence Police Department in March
At trial, GARCIA claimed that the charges of illegal re-entry were not
brought in a timely manner. The jury returned a special verdict and indicated
that the prosecution was, in fact, timely.
Judge Saris scheduled sentencing for April 28, 2004. GARCIA faces up to
20 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a
$250,000 fine. Upon serving any prison sentence, GARCIA faces deportation to
his native Dominican Republic.
The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, assisted
by the Lawrence Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S.
Attorney Nadine Pellegrini, Deputy Chief of Sullivan’s Major Crimes Unit and
Assistant U.S. Attorney B. Stephanie Siegmann in Sullivan’s Public Corruption