Meridian Star

September 14, 2013

MPD nabs illegal aliens

By Brian Livingston / blivingston@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     A Meridian police officer stopped a vehicle recently for speeding on Highway 19 South and discovered that everyone inside was in this country illegally and that one of the men had already been deported once.

    Meridian Police Department Capt. Dean Harper, commander of the department's Criminal Investigation Division, said authorities with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed the individual, Baltazar Zuniga, 31, had been deported by ICE in January of 2005. The cause for Zuniga's deportation, according ICE authorities, was Zuniga's convictions for three felonies in the state of Florida. The convictions were for aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft. Harper said Zuniga's reentry into the United States led to the federal charge of entering the United States after deportation without permission of the Attorney General after being convicted of a felony.

    Zuniga and the other illegal aliens in the vehicle were turned over to ICE authorities for processing.   

    In an unrelated case, Meridian police Thursday arrested 23-year-old Damion B. Thomas of Meridian and charged him with commercial burglary. This charge stems from an incident on August 11 where it’s alleged Thomas burglarized a business on North Hills Street. Thomas' bond was set at $5,000.

    Also Thursday, Meridian police were called to the 4300 block of Fifth Street  at 5:53 a.m. on an auto burglary call. The owner showed police where entry was made through a door and his radio stolen.

    If you have information on these incidents or any other crimes in Meridian, call Crime Stoppers at 601-485-1860.