Mexican national pleads guilty to illegally entering U.S. for the sixth time

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Oscar Ignacio Lopez-Ortega, 40, admitted guilt in federal court for illegal re-entry into the United States. This is following his deportation from the country five times.

U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool heard Lopez-Ortega’s guilty plea to one count of illegal reentry into the United States after deportation.

On March 1, 2022, Branson, MO, police officers tried to capture Lopez-Ortega at a local hotel. He escaped by jumping from a third-floor balcony and fleeing into the woods. Despite using a police dog, officers couldn’t locate him.

Lopez-Ortega was caught at another Branson hotel on November 26, 2022. Police were called to aid a Missouri Department of Social Services, Children’s Division worker who was at the hotel with Lopez-Ortega’s wife and children. Searching the hotel rooms, officers found large bags of marijuana under a bed. Lopez-Ortega was discovered hiding under another bed and was apprehended.

He was last deported to Mexico from the United States through Brownsville, Texas, on May 17, 2021. This followed his imprisonment for previously reentering the U.S. illegally after deportation.

Lopez-Ortega faces up to 10 years in federal prison without parole under federal laws. The sentencing will be determined by the court, considering the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be set following a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is overseen by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. It involves the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Branson, Missouri, Police Department.

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