In a recent development, 42-year-old Honduran man Abner Jovani Castellanos has been sentenced for illegally re-entering the United States after a prior removal order. U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani announced the conviction, revealing that Castellanos pleaded guilty on October 4, 2023.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo presided over the case, ordering Castellanos to serve 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. During the hearing, the court learned about Castellanos' previous conviction in 2008 for human smuggling. In that incident, he worked as a brush guide in a smuggling operation, resulting in serious injuries to an El Salvadoran man. Part of the man's leg had to be amputated after being caught underneath a moving train, as directed by Castellanos and another brush guide.
Law enforcement encountered Castellanos near Laredo on June 10, 2023. Notably, he had been ordered for removal from the United States on June 5, 2001, with six subsequent removals between 2001 and 2020, coupled with prior convictions for illegal entry and illegal re-entry.
Pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility, Castellanos will remain in custody. The Border Patrol conducted the investigation leading to his conviction.