A Guatemalan man who had been deported from the U.S. three years ago for raping a child was apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection while attempting to re-enter the country through the southern border.
On Dec. 9, CBP detained Artemio Raul Escobar-Ramirez in the mountains west of Arivaca, Arizona. Escobar-Ramirez was attempting to illegally enter the U.S. through the mountain passage, The Associated Press reports.
When border patrol processed 42-year-old Escobar-Ramirez, they checked his criminal record and discovered he was a sex offender.
Escobar-Ramirez was previously convicted by the courts in Tennessee of raping a minor in 2006. He was also convicted of aggravated sexual battery for a different incident in 2008. He served a prison sentence and was deported in 2014.
"Records indicate Escobar-Ramirez has an extensive criminal history in the United States and was previously removed from the country in 2014 after incarceration for his crimes," CBP said in a statement, according to KOLD. "He will be held in federal custody pending prosecution for criminal immigration violations, and re-entry of an aggravated felon."
On Aug. 13, Victor Francisco Michel-Lara, who was in the country illegally after having been deported, was arrested for allegedly raping a child multiple times in Cedar City, Utah.
The 7-year-old victim told authorities 32-year-old Michel-Lara had repeatedly raped her over the course of six months. Michel-Lara was charged with two first-degree felony counts of child rape, The Spectrum reports.
Michel-Lara told authorities that he accidentally touched the girl inappropriately while applying lotion to her body. He also reportedly told police he raped the child unintentionally when they were "rough housing" and "jumping around" after a shower.
The suspect had previously been deported from the U.S. in December 2005 and July 2013. He had previously lived in California and Texas, Fox News reports.
On Dec. 5, CBP disclosed that 2017 marked a steep drop in illegal border-crossings, Forbes reports.
"In [Fiscal Year 2017], CBP recorded the lowest level of illegal cross-border migration on record, as measured by apprehensions along the border and inadmissible encounters at U.S. ports of entry," the agency stated in a report.
The report found that 300,000 people attempted to cross into the U.S. illegally in 2017. The rate of CBP apprehensions along the southern border had declined by 80 percent between 2000 and 2017.
CBP also found that the rate of border apprehensions had dropped by roughly 24 percent between 2016 and 2017.