Springs Man Faces 20 Years, Then Deportation

Victor Sojos-Valladares, shown here after his August arraignment in East Hampton, is currently being held at the federal jail in Brooklyn.

A Springs resident originally from Ecuador, arrested recently on a misdemeanor choking charge, is now facing 20 years in federal prison, followed by deportation.

Victor Sojos-Valladares, 30, is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. He has been charged by the Eastern District of New York, a branch of the U.S. Attorney General’s office, with two felony crimes, entering the country illegally after a court-ordered deportation, and entering the country illegally after a court-ordered deportation that followed a conviction on a violent felony charge in a U.S. court.

It is the second charge that carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Sojos-Valladares was first arrested by East Hampton Town police in April 2010 on a felony burglary charge, along with a sex abuse charge. He had climbed through a bedroom window on Morris Park Lane in the middle of the night, police said, and began kissing the woman sleeping there, whom he did not know. She began screaming, and Sojos-Valladares fled, but was soon arrested at his residence on Crystal Drive.

That case was plea bargained down to a simple harassment charge, to which he pleaded guilty August 11, 2010. Three days later, he was under arrest again, following an almost identical incident. In the early morning hours of August 14, 2010, he entered a house on Muir Boulevard, stripped naked, and went into a bedroom where a woman and a child were sleeping. He was standing at the foot of her bed when the woman woke up and began screaming. Taking her cellphone, Sojos-Valladares fled the room, but did not go far.

When police arrived, they found his clothing in the hallway covered with excrement. Sojos-Valladares was quickly located passed out in the backyard, lying under a children’s playset. He was also covered with excrement. He was extremely drunk, police reported. Again, he was charged with burglary, along with two misdemeanors, petty larceny, and endangering the welfare of a child.

He was arraigned later that morning. Bail was set at $25,000. The district attorney quickly obtained an indictment. Unable to post bail, Sojos-Valladares remained in county jail until pleading guilty as charged in February 2011. Sentenced to a year in jail, he was released after serving eight months on good behavior April 15, 2011, into the custody of waiting Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. In June 2011, he was judicially ordered to be deported, and was returned to Ecuador.

On August 21 of this year, he was arrested near his Underwood Drive residence in Springs following an alleged domestic violence incident. According to the federal complaint, he first told East Hampton Town police his name was Angel Bermeo but was quickly identified through his fingerprints and facial features, all of which are in the national data base curated by the FBI. Bail was set the next day at $2000.

At the same time, an ICE deportation officer obtained a warrant from a Federal Magistrate Judge seated in the EDNY courthouse in Central Islip, Arlene Lindsay. Sojos-Valladares’s attorney, Matthew D’Amato of the Legal Aid Society, said in court that his client’s sister tried to bail him out, but police held him until federal agents could pick him up.

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