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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An unidentified man from Jamaica charged as “John Doe” was sentenced to four years and three months in federal prison for obstructing his deportation from the United States. The man refused to reveal his identity to officials with Enforcement and Removal Operations, known as ERO; ERO is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, commonly called ICE.
A federal jury found Doe guilty Feb. 15.
“This individual has a violent and egregious criminal history of noncompliance with many U.S. laws,” said Garrett Ripa, field office director of ERO Miami. “His extensive criminal past is a threat to public safety. The men and women of ERO Miami will continue to focus on protecting our nation against individuals who are a threat to our communities.”
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, immigration authorities first encountered Doe in Miami in January 1985, when he attempted to enter the United States from Jamaica by claiming to be a U.S. citizen named Freddie Davis. When authorities determined that he was not a U.S. citizen, he was allowed to voluntarily return to Jamaica. Doe attempted to enter the country again the next month in West Palm Beach, claiming to be a citizen of the Bahamas and using a fraudulent Bahamian passport in the name of Joseph Gordon. Authorities discovered the ruse and he was deported to Jamaica.
Eventually, at an unknown place and time, Doe successfully entered the United States. Immigration authorities encountered him in Dallas in September 1988 after he served a prison sentence. At that time, Doe claimed his name was Joseph Gordon and that he was a U.S. citizen born in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, but later said he was a citizen of the Bahamas. An immigration judge subsequently ordered Doe removed to Jamaica, but he was not deported at that time.
In June 2018, after completing a prison sentence in Florida under the name Ricardo Jones, ICE took Doe into custody in Miami. Because American officials couldn’t conclusively determine Doe’s true identity, Jamaican authorities requested more information to verify that he was a Jamaican citizen. Over the next several months, ICE and Jamaican authorities unsuccessfully attempted to determine Doe’s identity. Authorities repeatedly warned Doe that he could be prosecuted for obstruction.
On Jan. 18, 2019, Doe refused to speak to officials from the Jamaican consulate. When an ICE officer asked him his name, he responded, “Only God knows my name.”
Later that month, officials transferred Doe to ICE custody in Baker County.
ICE again attempted to obtain a travel document to deport Doe to Jamaica in March 2019. The Jamaican consulate informed ICE that it could not issue a travel document because it had no conclusive evidence that Doe was a citizen of Jamaica. ICE scheduled Doe for a phone interview with the Jamaican consulate on April 9, 2019, but he refused to leave his dormitory for the interview. Doe attended — but refused to provide information, claiming that his name was Ricardo Jones — during an interview some two weeks later.
On June 20 and July 23, 2019, ICE recorded interviews with Doe to help identify him. Doe stated that his name was Freddie Davis and refused to provide any other information, saying that ICE already had all it needed.
Doe has also used the names Dave Davis, Patrick Melbourne, Frank Douglas and Danny Brooks while unlawfully present in the United States.
This case was prosecuted by United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg and the Assistant United States Attorney Arnold B. Corsmeier of the Middle District of Florida.
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