Illegal Alien with Numerous Criminal Convictions Pleads Guilty

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA. – An El Salvadorian national previously convicted of sexual battery, extortion, and larceny charges pleaded guilty today to illegally reentering the United States.

According to court documents, Francisco Edgardo Palacios-Arias, 24, first illegally entered the U.S. sometime before February 2015. Thereafter, between June 2015 and July 2017, Palacios-Arias was convicted of a series of offenses in Chesterfield County, to include a sexual battery conviction in June 2015; a conviction for extortion of a school employee in December 2016; and convictions for two counts of larceny, false identification of self to law enforcement, and possession of marijuana in July 2017.

Officers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Palacios-Arias following this third set of convictions, and he was deported in March 2018. Palacios-Arias later illegally reentered the U.S., and returned to Chesterfield County. ICE officers arrested Palacios-Arias in Chesterfield in March.

Palacios-Arias is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 8, 2021. He faces a maximum penalty of two years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Shawn Byers, Acting Field Office Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Washington, D.C., made the announcement after U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas A. Garnett is prosecuting the case.