Jaime Alvarado told a District Court judge in February 2010 his name was Saul Quiroz and he was in the country illegally after being arrested for distribution of a controlled substance, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
He was deported to Mexico but re-entered the country in April 2010, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. He was arrested again in February on a warrant relating to the initial charges but this time he told the judge he had lied about his name and about being a Mexican citizen.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement held him until he was verified as a U.S. citizen. Alvarado faces charges of false or inconsistent material statements and false personal information given to a police officer.
"I have never seen something like this happen. More often than not, the situation works the other way -- a person claims to be legal to avoid detection," immigration attorney Rishi Oza told the Post. "I have never seen an American citizen try to get deported."