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Soldier's mother faces being deported
OGDEN - The mother of a soldier killed in Iraq admitted in a Thursday court hearing to abusing methamphetamine, breaking the conditions of her treatment program.
Angela Cabral was sentenced to up to 5 years in the Utah State Prison, a term that will apparently end with her deportation from the country for which her son died.
Cabral, a legal resident of the United States but not a citizen, already was struggling with drug abuse when she learned that her son, Juan Carlos Banuelos Cabral, had been killed in a roadside bomb attack near the city of Kirkuk on Jan. 31, 2004. She says her life spiraled even more out of control in the following year as she mourned the loss of her son.
Apparently moved by Cabral's plight when she came before his court in 2005, 2nd District Court Judge Parley Baldwin allowed Cabral to participate in a monitored substance abuse program known as drug court, rather than send her to jail. Under the watchful eye of the program's counselors, Cabral stayed clean for more than nine months, according to court records. As the two-year anniversary of her son's death approached, however, she relapsed.
At Thurs- day's hearing, Baldwin looked saddened to see Cabral back in his court. After sentencing her to prison - the length of her stay there will be determined by the State Board of Pardons and Parole - he shook his head slightly and sighed.
"I wish you well, ma'am," Baldwin said. "You've been given a lot of opportunities and you need to take advantage of some of them."
It is unclear how many more opportunities Cabral will have, in this nation. A Utah State Prison official confirmed on Thursday afternoon that the 45-year-old woman, who has been in the United States for three decades, still has an immigration hold on her record - prompted by a felony conviction for drug possession. She will be turned over to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials upon her release and faces deportation to Mexico.
No date has yet been set for Cabral's parole hearing, but prison spokesman Jack Ford said she will likely be seen by the board within months.