GREENEVILLE -- Two Mexican citizens appeared in U.S. District Court on Monday to answer to federal charges of being in the United States after being deported.
In May, a federal grand jury indicted Jorge Gutierrez-Ramirez, 39, and Virgen Mendoza Perez, 36, on a charge of illegal re-entry into the United States -- a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Both Gutierrez-Raimirez and Perez had previously been deported from the U.S.
Gutierrez-Ramirez plead guilty to the charge back in May and on Monday was sentenced to 70 months in prison.
According to court records, Gutierrez-Ramirez was deported from the U.S. in February 2000 after being convicted of first degree residential burglary in California. In addition, Gutierrez-Ramirez was also deported three times from San Ysidro, California in 1994, 1997 and 2005 and from Del Rio, Texas in 2003.
In September 2013, Gutierrez-Ramirez was arrested in Morristown and charged with sexual battery, eventually being convicted on the charge. When interviewed by federal officials, Gutierrez-Ramirez admitted to being previously deported and had re-entered the United States without permission.
On Monday, Perez pleaded guilty to the illegal re-entry charge and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 17.
According to court records, Perez was deported from El Paso, Texas in July 2009 following a felony child abuse conviction in Florida.
Federal authorities became aware of Perez living in Morristown after her vehicle was stopped in Hamblen County in September 2013. At that time, Perez was charged with criminal simulation, possession of false documents, no driver's license, violation of the financial responsibility act, failure to yield and a child restraint violation.
The investigations were conducted by the Morristown Police Department, Homeland Security Investigation and the Enforcement and Removal Operations unit of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.