Illegal immigrant given a suspended sentence for cocaine, heroin case, awaiting deportation by feds

Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, May 9, 2019
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YCDF photo

Marcos Duarte

A man in the United States illegally was given a 5-year suspended sentence last week for cocaine and heroin possession in Stillwater County.

The bigger penalty for Marcos Duarte is his deportation, which federal immigration officials began shortly after his court appearance in 22nd Judicial District Court last Thursday.

Duarte, 44, was sentenced locally on two felony counts of possession of dangerous drugs. District Judge Matt Wald said the sentence made sure local authorities had the tools needed in the event that something fell through regarding the deportation. An interpreter was used for the hearing.

Duarte has been jailed at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility since his 2018 arrest. As of Tuesday, he was no longer listed as an inmate there.


According to court documents, Columbus Police Officer Aaron Uecker was working traffic near the Columbus Town Pump on Sept. 12, 2018, when he saw a car with a Delaware license plate fail to use a signal. Uecker also noticed the rear left turn signal was broken.

When the officer asked Duarte for his driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, Duarte allegedly said he did not have a license or an identification card because “he was in the United States illegally,” according to court documents.

Law enforcement also could not find any record of the name and birth date that Duarte provided.

Duarte told police he was on his way to Belgrade from Delaware for a job, according to court documents.

Columbus Police Officer Jason Ferguson responded to the call to provide back-up and when he approached the passenger side of Duarte’s car, he saw several white paper bindles covered with a white, powdery substance in the passenger door, according to court documents.

At that point, Stillwater County Sheriff’s Deputy Cactus Anderson and his K9 were called to the scene, as he is a drug recognition expert (DRE).

Duarte consented to a search and discovered in the car was a total of 7.8 grams of cocaine, as well as heroin and Narcan, according to court documents.

Deputy Anderson then contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to advise that agency of the arrest. The following day, an ICE agent went to the YCDF and fingerprinted Duarte in an attempt to determine his identification.

The results of that fingerprinting confirmed that Duarte has “four alias names with a drug conviction on at least one name,” according to court documents.