To Be Deported to Mexico

Alfonso Garcia, a.k.a. Alfonso Garcia-Aguilar, is being held for deportation to Mexico after pleading guilty in East Hampton Town Justice Court to a charge of drunken driving last Thursday. T.E. McMorrow

A former resident of Hampton Bays is to be deported to Mexico after pleading guilty to a drunken-driving charge in East Hampton Town Justice Court last Thursday.

Alfonso Garcia, also known as Alfonso Garcia-Aguilar, was arrested on March 9. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents picked him up following his arrest and took him to an ICE holding facility in Bergen County, N.J. “It appears that you are being deported,” Justice Steven Tekulsky said from the bench.

After an extended stay in the Bergen County facility, Mr. Garcia was taken back to the county jail in Riverside last Thursday, then to East Hampton for a required allocution, in which the prosecutor, in this case Rudy Migliore Jr., asks the defendant a series of questions. Mr. Migliore asked Mr. Garcia if he had been drinking prior to his arrest.

Through a translator, he first answered no. Then after huddling with his Legal Aid attorney, Matt D’Amato, he admitted he had been drinking.

Justice Tekulsky ultimately sentenced him to time served. He was taken back to jail, then in the morning to Southampton Town Justice Court to answer a charge of criminal mischief. He wound up pleading guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, and was again sentenced to time served.

Before ICE can move ahead with deportation, charges such as those, at the local level, must be resolved. Since appearing in Southampton, Mr. Garcia has been held in Riverside, waiting for ICE to pick him up.

ICE agents conducted a sweep recently of undocumented residents of Long Island who have been convicted of sex offenses, including one from East Hampton. The operation, termed Operation SOAR for sex offender alien removal, picked up the local man on July 29. A “native of Trinidad and Tobago was convicted of third-degree rape of a victim incapable of consent and sentenced to 5 years of probation supervision,” ICE said on its website.

His name has not been released. Rachael Yong Yow, a public affairs officer, explained yesterday that ICE does not release the identity of a sex offender so as to prevent any connection with the victim.

While a number of the sex-offense convictions of the 32 men arrested were at the misdemeanor level, “The vast majority were pleaded down, even though the original charges were felonies,” she said. “The original charges were much worse.” If a child is victimized, for example, rather than putting the child through the ordeal of testifying, a plea of guilty to a lower charge may be accepted, she said.

The East Hampton man arrested was taken to one of three nearby facilities used by ICE, one in Hackensack, N.J., one in Kearny, N.J., and one in Goshen, N.Y.

The SOAR operation spanned a 10-day period, beginning on July 25 and ending last Thursday.