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Deported then allowed to return to United States in case ruling
June 19, 2017

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A 36-year-old former Toledo man has his case headed back to Tama County District Court as the result of an Iowa Supreme Court ruling upholding a District Court finding.

Roberto Morales, a / k / a Roberto Morales Diaz entered a written guilty plea to a charge of forgery on Aug 21, 2014. On the next day, he was sentenced to a suspended two-year prison term and the associated fine and court costs were also suspended.

Later, on Nov. 4, Tama County Sheriff's records show Morales- Diaz case was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He subsequently was deported to Mexico having entered the United States without proper authority.

But, as the result of a court ruling he has been returned to the U.S. according to the Tama County Attorney's Office.

He was originally charged with forgery after Toledo Police responded to a domestic disturbance call in the 1000 block of Prospect Drive.

According to court records, Morales produced a Texas identification card which was found to be issued in the name of another person and resulted in the forgery charge.

However, an appeal of his plea in the forgery case resulted in Tama County District Court Judge Mary E. Chicchelly ruling the defendant was not given adequate advice concerning the consequences of his guilty plea. He was represented at that time by attorney Chad Frese.

Subsequently, Judge Chicchelly's finding was appealed and the Iowa Court of Appeals reversed it and upheld Morales' conviction.

The case then went on to the Iowa Supreme Court and the Appeals Court finding was vacated in a 25-page ruling handed down by Chief Justice Mark Cady.

Morales / Diaz now has a jury trial on the forgery charge set for July 24 in District Court in Toledo.

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