BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – An Ithaca-based undocumented immigrant pleaded guilty to federal charges in the United States District Court in Binghamton on Wednesday morning.
Jose Guzman-Lopez, 32, was arrested on May 2, after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials found him walking down Cascadilla Street in Ithaca.
According to court records, Guzman-Lopez’s arrest was a targeted operation to locate the citizen and national of Mexico, who police said was living in the U.S. illegally. After conducting video surveillance, officers said they saw Guzman-Lopez leave his residence around 11:03 a.m. and observed him walking toward Fourth Street. Officers then placed him under administrative arrest and detained him.
Related: Ithaca-based undocumented immigrant charged for allegedly having fraudulent Alien Registration Card
ICE agents reported to finding Guzman-Lopez in possession of a counterfeit Alien Registration Card bearing his photograph. According to official records from United States Department of Homeland Security, the documents in Guzman-Lopez’s possession were not issued by the U.S. government.
Following his arrest, Guzman-Lopez was transported and detained in Batavia, New York, which sparked local protest and fundraising efforts for the defendant.
Guzman-Lopez was charged on a single-count indictment of possession of a forged, counterfeit or falsely made document. He entered a guilty plea just before noon at the U.S. District Court in Binghamton via video conference. The charge could carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release.
Guzman-Lopez’s sentencing has been scheduled for October 27 at the U.S. District Court in Binghamton before Judge Thomas McAvoy.