PORTLAND — A Mexican man living in Turner pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to returning to the United States illegally after he was deported.
Josue Calvo-Burguet, 37, appeared in U.S. District Court where he entered his plea to a charge of being found in the United States after removal, a Class E felony punishable by up to two years in prison.
Attorneys on both sides recommended that Calvo-Burguet be sentenced to the time he has served in jail since his arrest on Jan. 7.
On that day, U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped a van in which Calvo-Burguet was a passenger that was traveling a back road in Turner from his Snell Hill Road home.
In an affidavit, an agent wrote that he had conducted surveillance of the home while investigating allegations brought by a “concerned citizen” that undocumented immigrants had been living in the home and working at Quality Egg LLC, an egg farm in Turner.
During his surveillance, the agent wrote that he had watched as a passenger van ferry men from that home to the egg farm using back roads, not the most direct route, during hours of the farm’s operation
The egg farm had a long history of employing undocumented immigrants, according to agent Nicholas Gurney’s affidavit.
Agents stopped the van and questioned its driver and nine passengers, one of whom was Calvos-Burguet. He told the agents he was a Mexican national and was in the United States illegally, according to the affidavit. He was arrested and taken to the Rangeley Border Patrol Station for processing.
Gurney wrote that, in July 2019, agents in Rangeley had pulled over the same van in which undocumented immigrants living at the Snell Hill Road home in Turner had been riding. Those agents had determined that the van had been traveling to and from the Turner egg farm, Gurney wrote.
Prosecutors said that Calvo-Burguet had been deported twice, once in March 2018 and again in July that year.
According to the plea agreement accepted Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Jon Levy, Calvo-Burguet understood that his plea could result in his deportation.
He was wearing an orange jail sit, his ankles shackled, his hands cuffed and accompanied by U.S. marshals into the courtroom Tuesday.
Judge Levy said Calvo-Burguet would remain in custody until his sentencing, which has not been scheduled.