WILMINGTON, Del. — A man deported from the United States at least four times since 2000 — each time following an arrest in Delaware — was arrested here again in February, this time with a bag of cash, according to a document made public by the FBI.
Wilmington police suspected that Richard Diaz-Garcia, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, was in the United States illegally after he was arrested Feb. 1 in Newark, Del., about 15 miles away, according to court records.
Officers seized $5,000 that Diaz-Garcia held in a black bag, and $393 that he had in his pockets, according to the FBI document. Wilmington Police spokeswoman Andrea Janvier did not respond to requests for comment about the arrest, and why it reportedly took place in Newark.
FBI spokesman David Fitz would not provide details about the case, saying the Wilmington FBI office was been "extremely busy."
Officers contacted the Dover office of Immigration and Custom Enforcement after the arrest, and Diaz-Garcia was then transferred to federal custody, according to court documents.
Diaz-Garcia's criminal record in Delaware stretches back to 1999 when he was arrested on drug charges and pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and resisting arrest. He was deported to the Dominican Republic in 2000.
In October 2002, New Castle County Police detained Diaz-Garcia and charged him with resisting arrest. Days later, his 2000 charge of intent to distribute cocaine was “corrected to read possession of cocaine," according to court records. Federal officials deported him once again in December 2002 after he was transported to Louisiana.
Between 2004 and 2008, the drama played out at least twice again — detained in Delaware and then deported.
He pleaded guilty to the charge of re-entry after deportation by an aggravated felon in January 2007. On May 24, 2007, Chief District Judge Gregory M. Sleet sentenced him to time served, which was about six months.
Less than a year later, Diaz-Garcia was back with Delaware State Police arresting him in May for shoplifting men's cologne from a Sears department store in Wilmington.
Again, he was sent back to the Dominican Republic. The News Journal chronicled Diaz-Garcia's multiple attempts to stay in Delaware in a 2008 report.
Diaz-Garcia kept returning to Delaware because he had a girlfriend, who may now be his wife, and two children in the First State, his lawyers said in 2008.
Diaz-Garcia feared for his family's well-being and came back after getting panicked calls from his wife, he said in 2008. Court records show that Diaz-Garcia had been caught trying to enter the United States as a stowaway on a vessel that docked at the port in Elizabeth, N.J.
"I can assure you if he shows up in Delaware again, ... he will end up in federal court," said U.S. Attorney for Delaware Colm F. Connolly in 2008.