Thursday, April 12, 2012

ERO Arrests Brazilian National Wanted for Murder

A Brazilian national illegally residing in both Somerville and Medford, Mass., who was wanted in his home country for his involvement in a murder, was turned over to Brazilian law enforcement authorities the morning of April 11 in São Paulo. He was removed from the United States by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). This individual was originally identified after ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Massachusetts State Police obtained a law enforcement tip that he was residing in the Boston area.

Jose Rogerio Ferreira de Souza, 20, was arrested by HSI special agents and Massachusetts State Police officers Feb. 22, 2011, in Danvers, Mass. He had remained in ERO custody until his removal today. The delay in his deportation was due to the numerous appeals that Ferreira de Souza had made before the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the Board of Immigration Appeals. His final appeal was dismissed Feb. 17, 2012. He was wanted by the State Civil Police of Minas Gerais for, "armed robbery resulting in death." While residing in Massachusetts, he used the name "Mauro Jorge" to disguise his true identity.

According to public records, Ferreira de Souza allegedly participated in the September 2008 robbing and killing of a taxi driver in the city of Téofilo Otoni. Ferreira de Souza and his two accomplices, Valdiney Oesdres Leal de Souza and Pereira da Silva, robbed Heraldo de Souza, 68, and stole his watch and $40. They then tied Heraldo de Souza with barbed wire and beat him with a stick until his death. Heraldo de Souza was discovered three days later.

Leal de Souza was sentenced to 23 years in jail and Pereira da Silva was sentenced to 25 years in jail. Both are serving their prisons sentences in Brazil, and have stated publically that Ferreira de Souza participated with them in the murder.

"Thanks to our excellent partnership with the Massachusetts State Police, we have ensured that this individual will be prosecuted for his alleged crimes in Brazil," said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge for HSI Boston. "HSI special agents, ERO officers and our law enforcement partners in Massachusetts will continue to aggressively pursue individuals who pose a threat to public safety, especially criminal aliens who try to blend into our communities to elude justice in their home countries."

HSI’s attaché in Brasilia, Brazil, confirmed the biographical details and photographic facial identifiers with Brazilian authorities, which confirmed that Ferreira de Souza was indeed wanted by their government. HSI's attaché coordinated this removal directly with São Paulo's Civil Police Fugitive Capture Unit.

Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 335 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with HSI's Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.

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