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04/14/2010

Brazilian fugitive arrested on immigration, gun possession charges

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.- Geraldo Ricardo Miranda, 43, of Port St. Lucie, was indicted today by a federal grand jury for possessing a gun as an illegal alien, making a false statement under penalty of perjury on a U.S. passport application, making false statements, and falsely representing himself as a U.S. citizen.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the FBI.

According to the affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed on April 2, Miranda is a fugitive from justice in Brazil, where he faces homicide charges.

ICE agents in Miami originally received information that a fugitive living in Port St. Lucie was wanted for a homicide in Brazil. Subsequent investigation revealed that Miranda applied for and received a Florida driver's license by supplying a fraudulent Commonwealth of Puerto Rico birth certificate, a social security card, a U.S. military DD-214 and a Brazilian driver's license. The investigation further revealed that Miranda was born in Brazil and that he provided false documents to obtain his Florida driver's license.

According to statements made in open court during Miranda's April 12 detention hearing, ICE and FBI agents arrested Miranda on April 1 as he was leaving his Port St. Lucie home. During the arrest, agents recovered a .40 caliber Glock and thirty-two .40 caliber Winchester cartridges from Miranda's bedroom. According to the charging documents, Miranda is an illegal alien who cannot legally possess a gun.

If convicted, Miranda faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison on each count of being an illegal alien in possession of a gun and making a false statement on U.S. passport application; five years in prison on the count of making a false statement; and three years in prison on falsely representing himself as a U.S. citizen.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger. An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven.