Violent foreign criminal among 37 immigrants in trailer with produce

| 1/7/2008

U.S. authorities have arrested a violent criminal offender after he and 36 other illegal immigrants were found hiding in the back of a tractor-trailer.

Sacramento Hernandez Montoya, 26, has been charged with re-entering the United States after removal, a felony violation that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, according to a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Montoya was deported in 2004, and also has previous criminal convictions for child abuse and assault and battery in Michigan.

On Sunday, Dec. 30, the Tolleson, AZ, Police Department responded to a 9-1-1 call about suspicious activity. Police discovered a tractor-trailer with 37 immigrants, including one Mexican national and one person from Guatemala.

Several people were hidden behind pallets of vegetables in the trailer, the release stated, although Montoya was the only violent criminal offender in the group.

“As a country, we welcome law-abiding immigrants, but foreign nationals who violate our laws and commit crimes in our communities are an enforcement priority for ICE,” said Katrina Kane, field office director for ICE detention and removal operations in Arizona. “We are bringing all of our tools to bear against those who show no regard for our laws or our borders.”