Crime & Courts

Undocumented immigrant tries to evade capture using an alias

Catalino Benitez-Vallejo
Catalino Benitez-Vallejo Rowan County Sheriff’s Office

After an 11-month investigation, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office arrested an undocumented immigrant, Catalino Benitez-Vallejo, 47, on Wednesday for aggravated felon re-entry into the United States.

Benitez-Vallejo was arrested in 1999 by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office for dealing 5-kilograms of cocaine to an undercover agent in Salisbury, a press release said.

Officials also found assault weapons at his home in China Grove. He served 120 months in federal custody before being deported in 2008 to Mexico.

The press release said an investigation showed he returned to Kannapolis almost immediately after deportation.

He kept a low-profile upon returning and evaded detection while receiving a traffic citations by using fake names, like Misael Valencia-Macedo.

He was never fingerprinted at these stops, and managed to evade arrest.

On Wednesday, using a fingerprint from the 1999 arrest, he was correctly identified and arrested as Benitez-Vallejo.

He still tried to use his Valencia-Macedo alias during the Wednesday arrest.

Officials found firearms while searching his home, which are illegal for felons and undocumented immigrants to own.

He is awaiting trial at a federal holding facility and could face additional charges for identity theft.

Tyler Fleming: 704-358-5355, @tyler_fleming96