Photo Courtesy of State Department
of Correction and Community Supervision
By Forum Staff
A Jackson Heights man has been sentenced to 57 months in prison for illegally reentering the United States after being deported, federal prosecutors announced last Wednesday.
After illegally reentering the U.S. for a second time following his conviction for possessing a loaded firearm, Rogelio Mendez, 38, was convicted of rape in Suffolk County. The judge ordered that the sentence imposed on Wednesday would run consecutively to a 30-month term of imprisonment that Mendez received for his rape conviction.
According to court filings and proceedings, Mendez, a Mexican citizen, was initially deported from the U.S. in 2004, after he served a two-year state prison term for his conviction for possessing a loaded gun in Queens. Mendez, also known as “Rogelio Mendez-Puebla,” illegally reentered the country in 2005 and was deported in March 2009. Mendez again illegally reentered the U.S. from Mexico in 2010. On Sept. 11, 2016, while he was employed at a restaurant in Southampton, L.I., Mendez raped a woman at a home that he shared with his co-workers. Mendez pleaded guilty to third-degree rape in February 2017 and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
“Mendez repeatedly showed contempt for the rule of law by reentering the United States twice after he was first deported,” said Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue. “The Department of Justice has made criminal immigration enforcement a priority, and today’s sentence should serve as a deterrent to others who would illegally return to the United States after having been deported.”