A Belizean national and convicted felon who was on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s list of most-wanted deportable aliens was sentenced Wednesday in Los Angeles to 18 months behind bars for illegally re-entering the United States after being deported three times.
Santos Moreira, 47, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee to serve three years of supervised release after he is released from federal prison. Prosecutors wrote that although Moreira is likely to be deported immediately following prison, the term of supervised release represents added incentive for him to refrain from re-entering the United States.
“He knows that he needs to start his life over in Belize,” Moreira’s federal public defender, David L. Menninger, told the court. “He stated that he’s not a young man anymore and does not want to spend any more time in prison.”
Moreira was found in Los Angeles County on Nov. 2, 2015, according to an indictment filed in Los Angeles federal court.
He previously was deported from the United States in December 1995, September 1999 and October 2010, the indictment states. He pleaded guilty to re-entering and remaining in the United States knowingly and voluntarily without having obtained permission to reapply for admission into the U.S. following deportation.
Moreira’s criminal history includes a conviction in Los Angeles County Superior Court for possession for sale of cocaine base in 1991, for which he was sentenced to three years in prison, according to court papers. In 1992, Moreira was convicted of second-degree robbery with an enhancement for personally using a firearm. He was sentenced to five years in state prison for that offense, the indictment states.
He was convicted of manslaughter in Arizona in 2004, prosecutors said.
Before being brought to Los Angeles to face the illegal entry charge in May, Moreira was in custody in a Texas state prison for a 2018 drug-related conviction.
Gee said from the bench that she hoped Moreira was finally ready to break the cycle of criminal conduct.
“I hope you stop making the same mistakes because the consequences will be the same,” the judge said.
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