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February 7, 2023Boston, MA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Boston arrests convicted unlawfully present Brazilian drug trafficker

BOSTON — Fugitive operations officers with Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston arrested Diogo De-Sales Gomes, a 34-year-old unlawfully present Brazilian citizen convicted and sentenced to prison in Brazil for drug trafficking, in Somerville on Feb. 3.

ERO Boston officers arrested De-Sales Gomes, who is the subject of an active criminal warrant in Brazil as the result of his drug trafficking conviction in the Judicial Court of Cartagina, Mina Gerais, Brazil, in February 2022.

“The trafficking of illicit substances is a global epidemic that has affected many of our communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd M. Lyons. “The arrest of Mr. De-Sales Gomes removes a convicted narcotics trafficker from the public before he could potentially inflict further harm on our residents. Our officers continue to proudly fight against the illegal narcotics epidemic to ensure the safety of those we serve.”

In December 2021, U.S. Border Patrol apprehended De-Sales Gomes near San Luis, Arizona, after he unlawfully entered the United States without inspection. De-Sales Gomes was subsequently issued a Notice to Appear and released on his own recognizance pending removal proceedings. He failed to appear for that hearing.

ERO Boston initiated an investigation after Brazilian authorities made them aware of De-Sales Gomes’ presence in the Boston area of responsibility. Officers arrested him without incident near where he had been residing in Somerville.

De-Sales Gomes remains in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody pending a hearing with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). ERO Boston will seek removal pending the outcome of proceedings.

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by EOIR. EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice and is separate from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case. ICE officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges.

In fiscal year 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories; this group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions. These included 21,531 assault offenses; 8,164 sex and sexual assault offenses; 5,554 weapons offenses; 1,501 homicide-related offenses; and 1,114 kidnapping offenses.

ERO, a directorate of ICE, upholds U.S. immigration law at, within, and beyond our borders. ERO operations target public safety threats, such as convicted criminal noncitizens and gang members, who have violated our nation's immigration laws, including those who illegally re-enter the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges. ERO deportation officers assigned to Interpol also assist in targeting foreign fugitives for crimes committed abroad at-large in the U.S. ERO manages all aspects of the immigration enforcement process, including identification and arrest, detention, bond management, supervised release, transportation, and removal. Additionally, ERO repatriates noncitizens ordered removed from the U.S. to more than 150 countries worldwide.

Members of the public can report crimes or suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing ICE’s online tip form.

Learn more about ERO’s mission in your community on Twitter @EROBoston.