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Illegal immigrant gets federal sentence

POSTED: December 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A Mexican national who illegally entered the United States twice after being deported was sentenced to six years and seven months in a federal prison Friday.

Nereo Varela-Romero, 33, of Michoacan, Mexico, was deported in 1998 and 2003 before returning to the United States again, where he was convicted of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and later served a state prison sentence in Georgia.

Varela-Romero was charged with illegal re-entry in the United States and pleaded guilty in September. U.S. District Judge William C. O’Kelley sentenced Varela-Romero in a hearing Friday in Gainesville.

"Immigrants are welcomed in our country and our state as long as they enter lawfully," U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said in a statement. "Those who disregard our laws to enter the United States illegally, and who commit crimes once they’ve arrived here, however, face federal prosecution and prison, and then deportation."



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