WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — A convicted child molester living in Johnston County was ordered to be deported back to Mexico after making a false statement on an immigration form, according to the United States Attorney Michael Easley for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to Easley, Manuel Alejandro Vietla-Romero is a Mexican citizen living in Johnston County.

Court documents say that on March 23, 2019, Vitela knowingly made a false statement on an application for an immigration benefit.

In response to the question “Have you ever… engaged in [a]ny kind of sexual contact or relations with any person who was being forced or threatened?” he answered “No.”

Contrary to his statement, court documents said Vitela engaged in sexual activities with a 13-year-old girl on Aug. 8, 2018.

He was convicted on Nov. 8, 2022 in the Superior Court of North Carolina in Johnston County.

He was sentenced to between 16 and 29 months in prison and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

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Vitela pled guilty to immigration fraud and was sentenced to time served plus one year of supervised release.

Easley also said he was judicially ordered to be removed from the United States.

Agents with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and Homeland Security Investigations, assigned to the Document Benefit Fraud Task Force, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sebastian Kielmanovich prosecuted the case.