A Honduran illegal immigrant who pretended to be a teenager when caught by border authorities was sentenced Friday to 60 years in prison for killing a Florida man, prosecutors said.
Yery Noel Medina Ulloa pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and tampering with evidence in connection with the 2021 death of Francisco Javier Cuellar, Florida State Attorney Melissa Nelson said.
Ulloa, 25, was first taken into custody by border officials in McAllen, Texas after attempting to enter the United States illegally. He gave authorities a fake name, false date of birth and claimed to be a teenager named Reynel Alexander Hernandez. After he was given Notice to Appear in court, he was released. He was later flown to Jacksonville, Florida, prosecutors said.
“As we have seen time and time again, the federal government’s failure to secure our nation’s border has led to a travesty in a local community,” Nelson said in a statement. “This time, tragically, it was our community after an illegal alien murdered an innocent man. This 60-year sentence, however, ensures Medina Ulloa will never be able to harm another law-abiding citizen.”
An ICE spokesperson previously told Fox News that the agency had an immigration detainer on Ulloa following his arrest for murder.
In Oct. 2021, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to a call after witnesses reported seeing Ulloa covered in blood. One said he received a call and text message from Ulloa saying he killed Cuellar, a father-of-four who had taken Ulloa in. A trail of blood from Ulloa led to a home where the front door was open.
During a search of the house, authorities Cuellar dead on the floor of his living room during a welfare check. He died from several stab wounds and blunt force trauma. Home security cameras captured the killing and Ulloa was arrested.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office previously told the New York Post that it is investigating how Ulloa arrived in Jacksonville.
“This horrific crime is the latest example of how unfettered illegal migration costs Floridians’ lives,” DeSantis’ office told The Post.