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Enforcement and Removal
11/03/2008

International fugitive returned to Italy due to ICE and FBI investigation

NEW YORK, NY - A 57-year-old man wanted by the Italian government for drug trafficking and organized crime association, was escorted back to his homeland and turned over to Italian authorities by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) officers.

Ignazio Ingrassia, an Italian national departed the United States without incident, escorted by ICE officers, and was turned over to Italian National Police officials who were waiting for him at Rome Fiumicino Airport in Italy. This follows the issuance of a voluntary departure order from a federal immigration judge.

The case developed in May 2007 when ICE special agents received information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that Ingrassia was wanted by INTERPOL and was a fugitive in Italy for a prior narcotics conviction. ICE agents worked closely with the FBI to locate Ingrassia and later arrested him at his home in Manalapan, New Jersey.

"This individual tried to make a new life in the United States, but his past caught up with him," said Peter J. Smith, Special Agent in Charge of the ICE Office of Investigation in New York. "It is our duty and top priority to locate foreign fugitives hiding in the United States and turn them over to our foreign law enforcement partners."

"It is in the best interest of public safety and justice to arrest and return wanted fugitives to their native countries to face justice," said John Tsoukaris, Acting Field Office Director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in New York. "ICE is committed to ensuring the integrity of our nation's immigration system."

"This case demonstrates the global reach of the FBI," said Mark J. Mershon, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Office in New York. The FBI's Legal Attaché in Rome, Italy, shared intelligence and worked with the FBI New York Division and ICE New York Office to accomplish a common goal of apprehending an international fugitive."

Ingrasia was convicted in the notorious Maxi Trial held in Italy in 1984, in which the prosecutor was Anti-Mafia Judge, Giovanni Falcone, who was later murdered. This case demonstrates the continued cooperation between ICE and the FBI in upholding public safety.