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After 3rd DWI conviction, government wants to deport Mexican man for the 4th time

Joel Castro-Salazar, a Mexican citizen who lived in Mission, is charged with illegal re-entry. (Photo courtesy of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office)

After his third drunken driving conviction, the federal government wants to deport a Mexican man for the fourth time.

Joel Castro-Salazar, a Mexican citizen who lived in Mission, pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated on Wednesday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained Castro the next day.

"Record checks revealed the defendant was formally removed from the United States to Mexico for the third (3rd) time on May 31, 2014, via the Eagle Pass, Texas, Port of Entry," according to the federal criminal complaint against him.

Castro had two prior drunken driving convictions in Hidalgo County under the same name but a different date of birth, according to court records.

  • On Feb. 17, 2005, Castro pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated with a child younger than 15 years old, a state jail felony.

    State District Judge Letty Lopez sentenced him to two years in prison, but the judge suspended the sentence and placed Castro on probation for three years.

  • On Dec. 3, 2013, Castro pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration of greater than 0.15, a Class A misdemeanor.

    County Court at Law Judge Federico "Fred" Garza Jr. sentenced Castro to 180 days in jail, but the judge suspended the sentence and place Castro on probation for a year.

Castro is now charged with illegal re-entry.

Court records don't list an attorney for Castro, who remains in federal custody and couldn't be reached for comment.

Prosecutors in the Southern District of Texas, which includes the Rio Grande Valley, handled 403 new immigration offenses in August — more than any other federal judicial district nationwide, according to data published by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

The McAllen Division, which covers Hidalgo County and Starr County, handles a significant portion of the workload.

All three district judges at the federal courthouse in McAllen handled more than 50 new immigration offenses in August, placing them among the top 10 nationwide.

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