WORTHINGTON -- A Worthington man pleaded guilty in federal courts last week to being in the U.S. illegally and will remain in custody until the case is resolved. He will then be deported to Mexico -- again.
Anselmo Mendez-Madrid, 36, a native of El Salvador, was indicted in February after being identified as an illegal alien through the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcements (ICE) Criminal Alien Program (CAP).
Mendez was arrested in December 2010 after he and four other men were allegedly involved in a fight while walking home from a downtown Worthington bar, according to the criminal complaint filed in Nobles County District Court.
He and the others were charged with third-degree riot, unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct.
But that wasn't Mendez-Madrid's first arrest while in the U.S. illegally.
In 1994, he was arrested in Kodiak, Alaska, for driving without a license. Two years later, the Kodiak Police Department arrested him for assault.
In 1997, Mendez-Madrid was convicted in California for attempted murder and sentenced to nine years in prison, after which he was deported.
The federal indictment, filed in January 2011, states he was removed on or about Aug. 4, 2004, through the Chandler, Ariz. port of entry.
According to documents filed electronically with the state of Minnesota, Mendez-Madrid had a Windom address a year ago when he was convicted in Nobles County District Court for driving without a valid license.
By the time he was arrested in December, his reported address was on First Avenue in Worthington.
Two days after the arrest, he was encountered by an ICE deportation officer while in the Nobles County Jail.
"My investigation has revealed that Mendez-Madrid is a citizen and national of El Salvador who makes no claim to United States citizenship or lawful permanent resident status," an ICE deportation officer wrote in the indictment. "(He) has admitted that since his removal from the United States (in 2004), he re-entered the United States without applying for, nor receiving, permission."
During the federal proceedings, Mendez-Madrid's attorney filed motions to suppress evidence of statements and of search and seizure, but both motions were denied by the judge.
Fingerprints and photographs were used to confirm Mendez-Madrid's identity as the same individual as the person who was convicted and California and subsequently deported.
He faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years. The penalty will be determined by a judge at a future hearing, which is yet to be scheduled.