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A previously deported Mexican man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison after being caught intending to distribute fentanyl in the U.S., according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts.
The 35-year-old individual pled guilty earlier this year to a count of possession with intent to distribute the drug and to a count of unlawful re-entry of a deported alien, according to the press release, which identifies the man as Jesus Gracielo Garcia-Vega, aka Jonathan Ivan Badillo-Hernandez. This week, he was sentenced to 75 months in prison plus three years of supervised release.
The man has a history of deportations. He was "deported on several occasions from the United States, including most recently on March 23, 2016, after which he unlawfully re-entered the country," the press release noted.
"Fentanyl is an incredibly serious threat to public safety as it can have fatal consequences even in very small amounts. Mr. Garcia-Vega tried to pump a kilogram of this poison into our communities. It's particularly disturbing that he engaged in this criminal behavior after entering this country unlawfully following several deportations," acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy said, according to the press release.
The border crisis has been an ongoing problem for the U.S., with the situation worsening significantly since President Joe Biden took office in early 2021. Data available on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website indicates that there have been high numbers of southwest land border encounters every month of Biden's tenure. For example, the number for July was 183,503, while June was 144,566, and May was 206,701.
"Fentanyl distribution is destroying people's lives and wreaking havoc in our communities," Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division, noted, according to the press release. "DEA and our law enforcement partners will aggressively pursue and bring to justice individuals like Mr. Garcia-Vega who distribute this deadly drug. This sentence not only holds Mr. Garcia-Vega accountable for his crimes but serves as a warning that we will do everything in our power to keep this poison off the streets of Massachusetts."
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Alex Nitzberg is a staff writer for Blaze News.