Judge sentences man to 4 years for re-entering U.S. illegally

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ST. THOMAS - While his attorney asked for a two-year sentence, a man who re-entered the United States illegally instead received more than four years in prison during his sentencing hearing Thursday in federal court.

District Judge Curtis Gomez sentenced Ray Anthony Wayne, 43, to 51 months in prison and three years of supervised release for returning to the United States after having been deported for a prior felony conviction.

Wayne's attorney, Federal Public Defender Gabriel Villegas, portrayed Wayne as a victim of circumstance, pointing out that Wayne had returned to Guyana to support his terminally ill father but had been trying to return to the United States because his children still are in New Jersey.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Ishmael Meyers, Jr., Wayne has an extensive criminal history, which warrants a harsher sentence than typically would be given for such a charge.

Wayne was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after he presented a fraudulent V.I. birth certificate and driver's license on Dec. 31, 2013, while trying to board a flight to Miami at King Airport on St. Thomas, according to court records.

Court records also showed that Wayne was deported from the country six months earlier, after being convicted of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, a felony offense.

Under federal law, deported felons, such as Wayne, are prohibited from re-entering the United States.

On March 27, 2014, Wayne pleaded guilty to illegally entering the United States after having been deported.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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