Reynaldo Mejia-Mejia, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was arrested on Wednesday, March 23 on St. Croix and charged by federal complaint with illegally reentering the United States and possession and use of fraudulent documents.
According to court documents, Reynaldo Mejia-Mejia, 33, presented himself to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers for inspection to board a Spirit airlines flight from St. Croix to Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday. He presented a Washington State driver’s license in the name of another individual with a photo of his likeness as proof of identification to travel, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert.
During questioning at the primary inspection, Mejia-Mejia stated he was born in Puerto Rico, however, the CBP officer noticed that the man’s accent was distinctive to the Dominican Republic, the release stated. A subsequent fingerprint check positively identified Mejia-Mejia, and record checks revealed he was previously deported by Immigration in 2018 and 2019 from the United States to the Dominican Republic, according to the release.
The driver’s license he presented was determined to be counterfeit, and Mejia-Mejia admitted that he had purchased it, the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated. Further, there are no records of Reynaldo Mejia-Mejia legally entering the United States, it said. He did not receive permission from the Attorney General to reapply for admission to the United States at the time of the encounter on Wednesday, and is not a citizen or national of the United States, according to the release. Mejia-Mejia is a citizen and national of the Dominican Republic, and he was not in possession of the required legal documents to be present or to enter the United States, it said.
Homeland Security Investigations and CBP are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Ortiz is prosecuting the case. Detention and preliminary hearings are scheduled for Wednesday, March 30 in U.S. District Court.
— U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert reminds the public that a criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.