Posted: Feb 25, 2012 11:50 AM
BROWNSVILLE- A citizen of Belize has been found guilty of attempted illegal re-entry into the United States after deportation.
On Aug. 10, 2011, 37-year-old Bernard Talbert entered the primary pedestrian inspection lane at Veterans International Bridge in Brownsville and presented a World Passport issued by a private organization known as the World Service Authority in Washington D.C. He asked for a non-immigrant visa so he could travel to Washington DC. to speak with President Obama about what he considered to be genocide in Belize.
The presented document was not a valid entry document and Customs and Border Protection officers sent him for secondary inspection area for further investigation. CBP officers found Talbert had previously been deported several times and had prior felony convictions for drug trafficking and immigration crimes.
At the bench trial held earlier this week, Talbert claimed he did not intend to break the law and enter the country illegally. He stated he traveled from Belize believing that the World Passport was a legitimate document for entry into the U.S.
U.S. District Judge found him guilty. Talbert will be sentenced on May 21, 2012 and could faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.