A Mexican native who has been living in the U.S. illegally for 28 years was sentenced to nine months in jail for his third DUI in Virginia.
Mario Santos-Ochoa, 44, was sentenced to nine months in jail on Monday and immigration authorities placed a detainer on him, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. He could be deported again after serving his time.
Santos-Ochoa has four children, ages 9 to 21 years old, who were all born in the U.S., his attorney, Catherine Lawler said. He was deported five times between September 1997 and September 2014.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Carissa Cutrell said Santos-Ochoa “illegally re-entered the United States again at some point thereafter [September 2014].”
Santos-Ochoa was convicted in federal court in Texas of “re-entering the U.S. after being deported — in 2009, 2011 and 2012 — and sentenced to seven months, 180 days and 15 months, respectively, in federal prison,” court documents stated.
In November, Santos-Ochoa was pulled over after a Chesterfield County police officer said they had to stop short after he tried to change lanes. Santos-Ochoa’s blood alcohol content was 0.11 percent, 0.3 percent above the legal limit. Two years before the incident, Santos-Ochoa was convicted of his second DUI. He was also convicted three times of “giving a false identity to police.”
“He is a danger to Chesterfield and a danger to the community,” prosecutor Ben Garrison said.
Lawler said her client was a hard worker who had “no prior convictions for drugs or violence.”
“His record has to do with alcohol and illegal re-entry,” Lawler said.
Chesterfield Circuit Judge Frederick G. Rockwell III sentenced Santos-Ochoa to “five years in prison with all but seven months suspended on the felony third offense DUI charge and fined him $1,000,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. He was also sentenced to “an additional five years with all but two months suspended on the felony identify fraud count.”