Despite being in the U.S. illegally for the past 12 years, Maria Elvia Ross was able to obtain a temporary work permit, get a job as a Dallas County sheriff's jailer and avoid detection by her supervisors for several years even though she provided them inconsistent answers about her citizenship, records show.

That came to an end when Ross, 34, applied for deputy in January for the third time since her hiring in 2001 and presented a work permit that had expired in 2005.

A criminal background check conducted last month as part of the application process turned up her November 1998 arrest in Laredo and deportation by U.S. immigration officials. When questioned about it, Ross lied to a personnel sergeant, according to records released Wednesday by the department.

Ross was arrested at work last week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and faces deportation for a second time.

In her 2001 application to the Sheriff's Department, Ross didn't list her 1998 arrest and deportation. She indicated on the application that she had lived in Texas since at least 1990, personnel records show. In her 2006 and 2010 deputy applications, Ross indicated she was a U.S. citizen and had never been detained by police, records show.

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