ALBANY -- Three south Georgia men believed to be illegal immigrants have been indicted by a federal grand jury for re-entering the country, court documents show.
Santos Hernandez-Perez, Jose Gafino Mendoza and Jesus Anselmo Santamaria were each indicted in separate instances with violating the United States Code after they re-entered the U.S. without the permission of the attorney general or secretary of Homeland Security, court documents show.
Court records show that Santamaria is alleged to have re-entered the country after being deported in 2002 after he was convicted of a felony for his involvement in a conspiracy to deal cocaine in Albany.
Santamaria was found in Sumter County on June 2 and had his first appearance in U.S. District Court Wednesday.
Hernandez-Perez allegedly re-entered the country after being twice deported, once in November 2009 and again in March of this year, court records show.
Mendoza, also known as Jose Michael Hernandez, was deported on July 7, 2003, allegedly re-entered the country and was discovered on Nov. 12, 2009, in Crisp County.
He was found in Ashburn May 24, records state.
The indictments come as debates are raging around the country about the U.S. immigration policy. The court appearances for both men came less than 24 hours before a controversial illegal immigration law went into effect in Arizona.
The U.S. Attorney's office declined comment about the indictment.
Others had initial appearances in federal court this week.
Imad Ata Sihwahl was indicted on multiple counts in connection with a Dec. 4 bank robbery in Tifton. According to the indictment, Sihwahl is alleged to have robbed the First Community Bank in Tifton of $6,477, while brandishing a .40-caliber Ruger handgun.
In addition, Craig Harrell and Kassie Ross were indicted for allegedly manufacturing crack cocaine at a home in Albany. Court documents allege that between April 1, 2009, and May 6, 2009, both were in possession of crack cocaine and were manufacturing the drug at a home on the 2500 block of Crescent Drive.