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US attorney: Man deported to Mexico 9 times facing drug charges

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Posted at 2:31 PM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 14:31:32-04

CINCINNATI — A man who had previously been deported to Mexico nine times since 2012 is now facing drug charges, according to the U.S. attorney for Ohio’s Southern District.

Officials said Luis Tapia, 27, was arrested at a Cincinnati residence on Sept.13, when he retreated into the house and locked himself in a closet before a special response team took him into custody.

Tapia was most recently deported on April 25, 2018. Before fleeing from law enforcement during a traffic stop, police said Tapia identified himself as his brother, who is allowed to stay in the United States through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Tapia is not eligible to stay under that policy due to prior felony convictions.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office Director Rebecca Adducci announced the indictment, which was returned Wednesday.

Tapia could face 10 years to life in prison for possessing more than 400 grams of fentanyl to distribute, as well as a maximum 20 years for possessing cocaine with intent to sell.

He also faces charges for illegally re-entering the United States, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.