Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced this week that it arrested an illegal immigrant Brazilian fugitive wanted in his home country for failing to serve a prison sentence for raping a 5-year-old child in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
ICE said the Brazilian, identified as 37-year-old Saulo Cardona Ferreira, had received “multiple criminal convictions” in Brazil in 2019 for raping the child and had been sentenced to 14 years in prison, but he had fled the country. The town of Sorriso, Mato Grosso, had issued a warrant for his arrest.
The agency said that at an unknown time and place, he entered the U.S. illegally, meaning he evaded Border Patrol as a “gotaway.”
He was apprehended by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Team in the Massachusetts vacation spot during a vehicle stop. A spokesperson said that after being alerted via a law enforcement data review to his potential presence in the area in September, ICE began an investigation and apprehended him near his address on Nov. 14.
He is now in custody awaiting a court appearance before an immigration judge.
“This undocumented Brazilian national represented a significant threat to the inhabitants of Martha’s Vineyard,” ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston Field Office Director Todd Lyons said in a statement.
“He sexually assaulted a five-year-old child in his homeland and then ran from authorities when held accountable for his actions. ERO Boston will not allow such predators to threaten our residents. We will continue to apprehend and remove anyone who attempts to use our New England community as a refuge from justice,” he said.
ICE said that in FY 2022, it arrested 46,396 illegal immigrants with criminal histories, which included 8,164 sex and sexual assault offenses.
Martha’s Vineyard was at the center of migration-related controversy last year when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew dozens of migrants to the liberal vacation destination. However, there appears to be no connection between those flights and Cardoso Ferreira — who likely arrived years earlier.
The arrest comes as the U.S. remains in the throes of a historic crisis at the southern border. There were more than 249,000 migrant encounters in October after a historic 2.4 million seen in FY 23. Cities have declared themselves overwhelmed, with Massachusetts officials also calling for more federal help as they face what they say is a “federal problem.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas confirmed recently that there were more than 600,000 gotaways in FY 23, and Fox News reported that there have been more than 1,000 a day since the new fiscal year began in October.
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