Josh Loftin

November 8, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man hatched a creative scheme to avoid going to prison on a drug charge: He lied to authorities and said he was an illegal immigrant so he could get deported to Mexico and evade time behind bars.

The jig was up, however, when 27-year-old Jaime Alvarado returned to the U.S. using his passport and was arrested again by Salt Lake City police.

The tactic exploited a system where law enforcement officials sometimes prefer deporting illegal immigrant offenders instead of adding to an overloaded prison system. An immigration attorney said it’s the first time he’s ever heard of someone faking illegal immigration status.

At the time of his initial arrest, Alvarado claimed he was Saul Quiroz and had emigrated from Mexico illegally. He is actually an American citizen.

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