Washington: Three Indian nationals, who were earlier deported to India, have been arrested once again in the US Virgin Islands for illegally entering the country, an American attorney has said.

Krishnaben Patel, 25, Nikunjkumar Patel, 27, and Ashokkumar Patel, 39, were arrested at St Croix airport in US Virgin Island as they were about to board a flight for Fort Lauderdale in Florida on November 24.

If convicted, they face up to a potential 10 years in prison and subsequent deportation, according to the Department of Justice.

They appeared on December 2 before Magistrate Court Judge George W Cannon in St Croix for a preliminary hearing on criminal charges related to their alleged attempted illegal entry into the US.

A probable cause was found and the defendants were bound over to the District Court for further proceedings, US Attorney Gretchen C F Shappert said.

According to the US attorney, the trio were about to board the flight when a system check revealed that their Florida driver’s licenses were not legally issued and were deemed fraudulent.

Further inspection revealed that in August 2019, the three were previously detained in Tecate, California, and were processed for expedited removal. They were subsequently removed from the United States to India, the media release said.

As a result, the three men were charged by criminal complaint with re-entry by an Alien After Removal and Possession and Use of Fraudulent Documents.

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