Federal grand jury indicts Mexican national in illegal re-entry case

Pioquinto Fernandez-Carranza allegedly came back to the US after being deported and was arrested for possessing a machine gun.

CERES POLICE DEPARTMENT

A Mexican national is facing one count of illegal re-entry to the United States after being deported, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326, documents filed in the California Eastern District Court show. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a fine under title 18, or both.

Pioquinto Fernandez-Carranza was indicted by a federal grand jury last week for allegedly returning to the United States after being deported for a 2018 conviction for possessing heroin with intent to sell. A grand jury is typically made up of 23 people who work together to determine whether criminal charges should be brought in a case, with the ability to subpoena evidence or individuals to testify.

Federal prosecutors say Carranza “voluntarily and knowingly” re-entered the United States without the State Attorney General or the Department of Homeland Security having consented to any reapplication. Individuals who are deported are required under Title 8 of the US Code to apply to re-enter the country.

According to a criminal complaint filed in February, Carranza was arrested on the 16th for allegedly possessing a machine gun. Records show he’s currently held at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility in Merced, California. Upon his arrest, deportation officer Ray Poquiz reviewed internal documents filed at the Sacramento sub-office of the San Francisco Enforcement and Removal Operations Field Office.

Poquiz says he found that Carranza was ordered to have been removed from the United States by an immigration judge in 2018. Carranza admitted in a sworn statement that he is a citizen of Mexico, however, his parents are Mexican nationals who are legal residents of the United States.

Following Carranza’s arrest for allegedly possessing a machine gun, immigration officials filed a detainer with the Stanislaus County Jail requesting that he be transferred into federal custody. Carranza was transferred to the John Latorraca Correctional Facility sometime after that.

Poquiz wrote that his review found no evidence that Carranza obtained permission to enter the US from either the state Attorney General or Homeland Security officials. He added that the 37-year-old didn’t appear to be under official observation until immigration officials became aware of his presence in the country.

Records show that Carranza could be handed down a strict penalty due to his prior criminal record. He’s been arrested for various charges including corporal injury of a spouse or coinhabitant. Carranza was arrested in 2017 for allegedly kidnapping his son, Kayden, by convincing the boy’s legal guardian to give him to Carranza for a diaper change. Police say Carranza left with the child, who was later found in a south Modesto home. Carranza was arrested at the same home.

Carranza initially lost custody of his son in December of 2015 after a search warrant executed on his home returned a stash of guns and drugs, leading to the boy’s removal by CPS.

Court records don’t show an attorney representing Carranza. His case is prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Samuel Stefanki, and his case is presided over by US Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes.

A May 7 application for writ of habeas corpus shows Carranza will be kept in federal custody until a verdict is reached in his case.

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