Cedar Falls restaurant owner pleads guilty to federal charges - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls restaurant owner pleads guilty to federal charges

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - United States Attorney Matt M. Dummermuth announced Wednesday that a man who failed to appear for his sentencing on an illegal alien harboring charge pled guilty in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Julio Zalapa-Urbina, a former resident of St. Joseph, Missouri, was convicted of one count of failing to appear in federal court for sentencing. According to information released in his previous case, Zalapa-Urbina was the part owner of Julio's Restaurant and Cantina in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and the owner of two other Julio's Restaurants in St. Joseph, Missouri, and Maryville, Missouri. He pled guilty on June 19, 2006, to one count of harboring an illegal alien for profit.

According to information disclosed in court, Zalapa-Urbina was scheduled to be sentenced on January 11, 2007, on the harboring charge but failed to appear for his hearing. Zalapa-Urbina had sought to have the sentencing hearing delayed so he could be out of custody when his girlfriend gave birth to defendant's child due in February 2007. After Zalapa-Urbina's request to delay the sentencing was denied, he allegedly fled to Mexico with his girlfriend.

Zalapa-Urbina was sentenced in absentia on February 20, 2007, to 21 months' imprisonment. Sentencing on the new charge before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Zalapa-Urbina remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.

On the new charge, Zalapa-Urbina faces a possible maximum sentence of 5 years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and supervised release for up to 3 years following any imprisonment. Any sentence imposed on the new charge must be served consecutively to Zalapa-Urbina previously imposed sentence.

Online Producer: Jason Mortvedt

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