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Immigrant transgender woman sentenced to prison

The transgender woman taken into custody in the El Paso County Courthouse pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison time related to fraud and theft charges.

ABC-7 was in the courtroom Wednesday morning when Irvin Gonzalez pleaded guilty to charges of theft and fraudulent use of information. She was sentenced to nine years each charge, which will be served concurrently in a state prison.

The arrest of Gonzalez, an undocumented immigrant, gained national attention after it was revealed that she had been taken into custody by undercover U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents shortly after filing for a restraining order against an ex-boyfriend.

Gonzalez had faced 239 indictments in the forgery case.

Gonzalez and her ex, Mario De Avila, were accused of stealing money orders from mailboxes and ultimately depositing the money into their personal accounts.

She had been arrested previously on immigration charges and deported six times.

In April, Gonzalez was sentenced to time served on a charge of illegal reentry.

Wednesday, Gonzalez appeared in court wearing a jumpsuit, shackled at the wrists and ankles with her long hair in a ponytail. 243rd District Court Judge Luis Aguilar asked if she was aware that she could be deported if she pleaded guilty, to which Gonzalez responded, “Yes.”

Court officials told ABC-7 that Gonzalez’s deportation will be decided after the prison term is served.

According to ICE a person cannot be deported before their sentence is completed. ICE places a detainer on the individual and they are turned over to ice custody once they’ve served their sentence.

It’s unclear if Gonzalez will be placed with women or men while in prison. According to the Dallas Morning News, inmates in Texas are assigned to housing based on their individual safety, security and treatment needs.

The plea agreement shows Gonzalez was not ordered to pay the 15 victims restitution, despite allegedly stealing more than $2,500 from them.

Gonzalez’s attorneys would not comment after the sentencing.

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