An American citizen from Utah man who preferred deportation to jail pretended to be an illegal immigrant when he was charged with a drug offense, according to law-enforcement officials.
Jaime Alvarado, 27, of Salt Lake City, was deported to Mexico under an assumed name and identity rather than being sentenced to jail, but now his lie may be catching up with him.
Alvarado was charged Wednesday in Utah's 3rd District Court with giving false material statements, a felony, and giving false information to a peace officer, a misdemeanor, said Robert Stott, a spokesman for the Salt Lake City district attorney.
He did not show up for his court appearance, and there is a warrant out for his arrest, said a spokeswoman for the court.
Alvarado was arrested last year on a second-degree felony charge of possessing cocaine and heroin with intent to distribute, according to court records. Facing as much as 15 years in prison, he pleaded guilty and gave an alias, Saul Quiroz, and a fake birth date, and said he was an illegal immigrant. He was deported to Mexico.
But he returned to the U.S. in April 2010 using his valid U.S. passport, Stott said. He was re-arrested in Salt Lake City in February and turned over to immigration authorities.
Appearing in court that month, Alvarado revealed his true identity.
"He admitted he had created a false name in order to avoid a lengthy prison term," Stott said.
In a letter to the judge at the time, Alvarado asked for leniency.
"I know I made a poor choice by lying to you guys a year ago. I was afraid to go to prison," he wrote.
"I have a good job right now, a lot of little girls waiting for me and a family that will support me," he added. "It's my first offense and my last. I want to spend the rest of my life with my kids."
Another letter, from his fiancee, Anelia Carballo, said Alvarado had done "a 360-degree turnaround" and was a loving father to their daughter together and her other four girls.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released Alvarado in June once officials were satisfied that he was, in fact, a U.S. citizen, but a warrant was issued for his arrest on the false information charge on Oct. 31.
A spokeswoman for ICE said the agency was aware of the case and was investigating the matter.