YORK COUNTY, SC (Andrew Dys/Rock Hill Herald) – An illegal immigrant already convicted of re-entering the United States twice after being deported faces additional York County cocaine trafficking charges, officials said.
Gilberto Antonio Moreno-Moreno, 37, of Rock Hill was booked into the York County jail late Monday, according to police reports and jail records.
Moreno-Moreno could face a mandatory minimum of 25 years in a South Carolina prison if convicted of drug trafficking, then face deportation, under state law.
Moreno-Moreno is charged with trafficking cocaine between 100 grams and 200 grams, heroin possession, possession of a gun by an unlawful alien, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and possession of a stolen pistol, records show.
Matthew Hogge, 16th Circuit assistant solicitor, said these charges from August 2017 remain pending. The case has been on hold while Moreno-Moreno went through the federal system in both North and South Carolina for other drug charges and illegal re-entry into the U.S., Hogge said.
Moreno-Moreno was in possession of cocaine hidden in diapers when he was arrested in August 2017 after a raid at a Rock Hill apartment, said Marvin Brown, commander of the York County Mutijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit.
Moreno-Moreno was convicted twice, in 2013 and 2018, by federal prosecutors in South Carolina and North Carolina on charges of re-entry of a deported illegal immigrant, according to federal court records. Moreno-Moreno was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in May 2018 in federal district court in South Carolina to re-entering the country illegally, records show.
He also has convictions for drug trafficking in both the federal and state systems in Charlotte.
Moreno-Moreno was indicted in 2018 by federal prosecutors in Charlotte with trafficking meth in Mecklenburg County in April 2017, records show. Moreno-Moreno was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in August after pleading guilty to the Charlotte meth trafficking charge, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in North Carolina.
He also was convicted in 2011 for drug trafficking in Charlotte and sentenced to 42 months in prison, and has convictions for habitual DWI in North Carolina, N.C. Department of Corrections records show.
After Moreno-Moreno was booked Monday into the York County jail, his bond was set at $50,000, court records show.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Marshals Service agents placed detainer holds on Moreno-Moreno because of his illegal immigration status and previous federal court convictions, jail and court records show.
The York County Sheriff’s Office, which operates the county jail, is part of the 287g program that alerts ICE of a prisoner who is booked who is undocumented. That means Moreno-Moreno cannot be released on bond pending trial without being picked up by federal agents.