Guatemalan at center of local controversy pleads guilty

Published Jun 22, 2018 at 4:00pm

The Guatemalan farmhand who was snatched off a farm in the Town of Lee by Immigration and Customs Enforcement pleaded guilty in Federal Court on Thursday to being in the United States illegally.

Macial de Leon Aguilar, 31, pleaded guilty in Federal Court in Syracuse to unlawfully re-entering the U.S. after having been previously removed, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Aguilar is scheduled for sentencing on July 31, where he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, as well as removal from the country.

Authorities said Aguilar was removed from the U.S. three times: in February 2008, June 2011 and January 2014. Officials said Aguilar has criminal convictions for reckless aggravated assault and illegal re-entry. He was taken into custody by ICE agents on the Thomas Road farm where he worked on April 18.