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A 49-year-old Salvadoran man shot three times in 2015 by a state trooper pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally re-entering the United States after being previously deported.

Gil Antonio Ramirez-Lemus faced the charge after completing an Arkansas prison sentence for aggravated assault and theft of property stemming from the officer-involved shooting on Interstate 49 near Mountainburg.

Investigators found Trooper Josh Elmore was justified in shooting Ramirez-Lemus, who authorities said was holding a large rock in a threatening manner after abandoning a stolen car during a police chase.

The Arkansas Department of Correction notified U.S. immigration authorities Ramirez-Lemus was being released, and agents picked him up outside the Delta Regional Unit.

It is a specific federal crime -- and one that carries a potential prison sentence -- for someone to illegally enter the U.S. after being deported. Through an interpreter, Ramirez-Lemus told U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. that he had previously been deported three times -- once in 1998 and twice in 2005.

He pleaded guilty without a deal to lessen his sentence, which Marshall will determine within a few months, attorneys said. The maximum sentence is two years, unless Marshall finds Ramirez-Lemus qualifies for a harsher sentence because of other crimes committed while in the U.S.

"You will almost certainly be deported" after serving the sentence, Marshall told Ramirez-Lemus.

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Metro on 10/20/2017

Print Headline: Salvadoran guilty of U.S. entry

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