Gulfport, Miss. – A Honduran national pleaded guilty today to the crime of unlawful reentry by an alien who was previously deported after conviction of a felony, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Michael J. Harrison, Acting Chief Patrol Agent of the Border Patrol’s New Orleans Sector.
According to court documents, Marcio Bonilla-Romero, 38, was arrested after a traffic stop by the U.S. Border Patrol on Interstate 10 in Jackson County on August 27, 2020. Bonilla-Romero provided the agent with a Honduran passport and told the agent that he did not have a driver’s license. The agent returned to his vehicle to run record checks and learned that Bonilla-Romero had an extensive criminal history, as well as an active Felony Warrant issued in Harris County, Texas, with full extradition. The agent placed Bonilla-Romero under arrest for the Texas felony warrant.
Bonilla-Romero was extradited to Harris County, Texas. However, investigation continued in the Southern District of Mississippi. It was discovered that Bonilla-Romero may have been removed in 2002 under the name Jose Morales-Gonzalez (listed as a citizen of Mexico). It also was learned that Bonilla-Romero was in fact the same person as Morales-Gonzalez and had been removed in 2002 and again in 2015. Officials confirmed that Bonilla-Romero and Morales-Gonzalez were in fact the same person. Officials also confirmed that Bonilla-Romero, under the alias of Jose Morales-Gonzalez, had been removed from the United States to Mexico on May 15, 2002, and again on July 17, 2002.
Bonilla-Romero pleaded guilty to unlawful reentry by an alien deported or removed after conviction of a felony. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, July 30, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. He faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and up to a $250,000 fine. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Bonilla-Romero also faces Department of Homeland Security proceedings regarding removal from the U.S. following completion of any prison sentence.
The U.S. Border Patrol and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office worked the case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stan Harris.