Monday, September 22, 2008

Illegal alien ordered deported (The Joplin Globe)

Illegal alien ordered deported

By Jeff Lehr
Published September 22, 2008 09:54 pm

The second of two illegal aliens charged with robbing a Pittsburg, Kan., restaurant owner of his vehicle and cash at the Greyhound bus terminal in Joplin in February has pleaded guilty and been ordered turned over to the federal government for deportation.

Darbin Martinez-Cruz, 22, pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge of second-degree robbery in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin.

The defendant changed his plea as part of an agreement with the county prosecutor’s office that limited the prison term he might receive and called for suspension of the sentence for deportation purposes.

Circuit Judge Gayle Crane sentenced Martinez-Cruz to seven years in prison in accordance with the terms of the agreement and suspended execution of the sentence so he could be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for commencement of proceedings for deportation to Mexico.

The defendant and Eduardo Hernandez, 29, also of Mexico, robbed their employer, Lin Hua Chang, owner of the Yummy Chinese Buffet, on Feb. 8 after he fired them for allegedly stealing money from his business. Police and court records state that Chang had hired them through a company in California.

When he fired the two men, Chang reportedly gave them money to return to California and a ride to the bus station at 217 W. Second St. in Joplin. But once they reached the bus station and he was helping them get their belongings out of his van, one of them pulled a knife on him and the other punched him in the head.

They then took $230 from him, his keys to the van and left in the vehicle. They were arrested a few days later and initially charged with first-degree robbery.

Hernandez pleaded guilty in May to a reduced charge of felony stealing and received the same suspended sentence. He also was turned over to ICE for deportation to Mexico.

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