New Orleans Sector Border Patrol agents arrested a previously removed child sex offender early Friday morning in Lake Charles, La., after he was discovered illegally in the United States.
Lake Charles Border Patrol Station agents responded to a call for assistance from the Calcasieu Parish, La., Sheriff’s Office on a traffic stop on Interstate 10 near Sulphur Springs, La. Upon arrival, agents determined that one of the three passengers, Heber Obed Hernandez-Martinez was a convicted sex offender and aggravated felon who had been convicted in 2009 of a First Degree Sexual Offense involving a child and served 84 months in confinement. He was subsequently removed from the United States in August 2016.
“This significant arrest of an illegal alien felon convicted of a serious sexual offense involving a child highlights the fact that bad people and bad things do come across our border as part of the migrant caravan. Although not all members of the caravan are aggravated felons, the Border Patrol understands that some will exploit the caravan to do harm to the United States and its citizens,” said New Orleans Sector Chief Patrol Agent Greg Bovino. “Border Security is National Security and doesn’t just occur at the physical border. If the Border Patrol and local partners like Calcasieu Parish didn’t have a robust enforcement posture in place, Hernandez may have had the opportunity to assault another child.”
Hernandez will remain in federal custody to face possible felony immigration charges in Louisiana since he was found in the country after removal without being lawfully admitted. Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of criminal activity charges without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.