Crime

Deported child sex offender returns, faces trial in Gulfport

Jimmy Francis Mendoza Diaz
Jimmy Francis Mendoza Diaz

A fingerprint check revealed a man found in Mississippi is a deported child sex offender who didn’t have permission to return to the United States, court papers show.

Jimmy Francis Mendoza Diaz, 43, of Honduras, is held for prosecution in U.S. District Court in Gulfport.

He was convicted of sexual assault of a minor, a victim about 14 years old, in Union County, N.J., on Aug. 17, 2007. An immigration judge ordered him removed from the U.S. on Aug. 19, 2010, according to an affidavit.

The affidavit of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officer in Gulfport outlines what happened to bring Diaz to authorities’ attention.

Diaz was arrested on traffic violations in Pike County on May 23. The Mississippi Department of Transportation requested the help of ICE in Gulfport. Diaz was held at the county jail in Magnolia until he was taken to Gulfport.

Diaz has used at least three other names, the affidavit said.

His fingerprints allegedly showed up in a national database that revealed prior arrests, convictions and a deportation order.

Three convictions in New Jersey

Morristown police in New Jersey had arrested Diaz on March 2, 1997, on an aggravated assault charge. A judge sentenced him to 24 months in prison and placed him in a diversion program for using a weapon for unlawful purpose.

On June 21, 2005, Elizabeth police in New Jersey arrested him on a false statement charge. He spent two days in jail on conviction.

Elizabeth police arrested him on the child sex assault charge two years later. He was serving a five-year prison term on that charge in New Jersey when an ICE agent checked his background and an immigration judge ordered his removal from the U.S.

Now held in South Mississippi

Diaz was booked at a South Mississippi jail in June.

He never received permission of the Secretary of Homeland Security to reapply for admission to the U.S. or to re-enter the country, said a federal indictment filed July 26.

He is set for an initial court appearance and arraignment Tuesday. His attorney has asked for a delay, citing a conflict in his court schedule.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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