JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard sentenced an unidentified Jamaican man, charged as “John Doe,” to four years and three months in federal prison for obstructing his removal from the United States. The man refused to reveal his identity to officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). A federal jury found Doe guilty, Feb. 15, 2022.
“This individual has a violent and egregious criminal history of non-compliance with many U.S. laws,” said ERO Miami Field Office Director Garrett Ripa. “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, Doe was first encountered by immigration authorities in January 1985 in Miami 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. This ruse was discovered, and he was deported to Jamaica.
Sometime later, at an unknown place and time, Doe successfully entered the United States illegally. He was encountered by immigration authorities in Dallas in September 1988, after serving a prison sentence. Doe said then that his name was Joseph Gordon and at first said that he was a U.S. citizen born in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, but later said that he was a citizen of the Bahamas. An immigration judge subsequently ordered him to be deported to Jamaica, but he was not deported at that time.
In June 2018, after completing a prison sentence in Florida, Doe was taken into custody by ICE in Miami, this time using the name Ricardo Jones, the name under which he was convicted. Because Doe’s identity could not conclusively be determined, the Jamaican authorities told ICE they needed more information to verify that he was a Jamaican citizen. Over the next several months, ICE and Jamaican authorities attempted to determine Doe’s identity but were unsuccessful. Doe was repeatedly warned that he could be prosecuted if he continued to obstruct his deportation.
On January 18, 2019, Doe was scheduled for an interview with the Jamaican consulate, but he refused to speak to them. When an ICE officer asked him his name, he responded “Only God knows my name.” Later that month, Doe was transferred to ICE custody in Baker County. In March 2019, ICE again attempted to obtain a travel document to deport Doe to Jamaica. The Jamaican consulate once again informed ICE that it could not issue a travel document for Doe, because there was 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. Another interview was scheduled for April 17, 2019, Doe went but refused to provide any information. He advised that his name was Ricardo Jones but would not provide any other information.
On June 20 and July 23, 2019, ICE conducted recorded interviews of Doe to again attempt to obtain biographical information that might allow him to be identified. During these interviews, after stating that his name was Freddie Davis, Doe refused to provide any other information, saying that ICE already had all the information they needed.
In addition to the identities discussed above, Doe has also used the names Dave Davis, Patrick Melbourne, Frank Douglas, and Danny Brooks while he has been illegally present in the United States.
This case was investigated by ICE ERO. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arnold B. Corsmeier.