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Illegal alien sentenced for evading authorities

ROUSES POINT - A Columbian man has been sentenced after evading police last November in a high-speed pursuit.

Diego Lesmes-Maldonado, 31, an illegal alien last known to be residing in Boca Raton, Fla.,was sentenced Jan. 21 by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence E. Kahn in Albany to six months in federal prison, to be followed by supervised release for three years. He was convicted of the felony offense of high speed flight from an Immigration checkpoint.

Lesmes-Maldonado was encountered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Rouses Point Port of Entry on State Route 9B in the village of Rouses Point shortly before midnight Sept. 11. While the immigration and customs inspection of Lesmes-Maldonado and his passengers was being conducted, Lesmes-Maldonado disregarded the instructions of the officers and drove south, away from the Port of Entry, at a high rate of speed. He was observed immediately turning east, driving over the Lake Champlain bridge on State Route 2, entering Vermont.

U.S. Border Patrol and the Grand Isle (Vt.) Sheriff's Department pursued Lesmes-Maldonado before he traversed the bridge and after he entered Vermont at speeds in excess of the posted speed limit.

Lesmes-Maldonado was apprehended and the pursuit terminated when the vehicle he was driving was disabled by spike strips deployed in the town of South Hero, Vt. The pursuit lasted approximately 30 minutes.

Passengers found in the vehicle driven by Lesmes-Maldonado were also illegal aliens - two citizens of Angola and one citizen of Brazil.

Following the completion of his imprisonment, Lesmes-Maldonado will be processed for removal by the Department of Homeland Security.

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