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March 1, 2024Boston, MA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Boston removes fugitive wanted for rape conviction in Brazil

BOSTON — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston removed a Brazilian fugitive from the United States Jan. 26. Francisco Xavier Martins, 43, convicted of rape in Brazil, unlawfully entered the United States in May 2018 to avoid serving his prison sentence. Brazilian authorities have been seeking his custody since March 2019, and deportation officers from ERO Boston arrested him Dec. 5, 2023, in Malden.

“ERO Boston is committed to protecting our communities,” said ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd M. Lyons. “Unlawfully present criminals will be arrested and removed from the country. They will not be allowed to endanger the residents of our New England communities. ERO Boston remains committed to prioritizing public safety, which is a central part of our mission.”

Martins, a Brazilian citizen, unlawfully entered the United States in Hidalgo, Texas, in May 2018. He was detained, issued a notice to appear at a future immigration hearing, and placed into removal proceedings by U.S. Border Patrol. He was subsequently granted a release on bond by an immigration judge in June 2018.

Since March 2019, a criminal court in the city of Resplendor, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, has been seeking his custody to serve an eight-year prison sentence for aggravated rape in Brazil.

After ERO Boston confirmed Martins’ possible presence in its area of responsibility through standard law enforcement procedures, officers with ERO Boston’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit arrested him without incident.

Martins remained in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) custody during his removal proceedings and was removed on a flight to Brazil Jan. 26.

ERO conducts removals of individuals without a lawful basis to remain in the United States, including at the order of immigration judges with the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is a separate entity from the Department of Homeland Security and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case, determining if a noncitizen is subject to a final order of removal or eligible for certain forms of relief from removal.

In fiscal year 2023, ERO made 170,590 administrative arrests, a 19.5% increase over the previous year. ERO arrested 73,822 noncitizens with a criminal history; those arrested had an average of four charges and convictions per individual, including more than 33,209 charges or convictions for assault, 7,520 for weapons offenses, 1,713 for homicide-related offenses, and 1,615 for kidnapping. Removals also included 3,406 known or suspected gang members, 139 known or suspected terrorists, seven human rights violators, and 108 foreign fugitives wanted by their governments for crimes including homicide, rape, terrorism and kidnapping. Also in fiscal year 2023, ERO conducted 142,580 removals to more than 170 countries worldwide.

As one of ICE’s three operational directorates, ERO is the principal federal law enforcement authority in charge of domestic immigration enforcement. ERO’s mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of U.S. communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and its primary areas of focus are interior enforcement operations, management of the agency’s detained and non-detained populations and the repatriation of noncitizens who have received final orders of removal. ERO’s workforce consists of more than 7,700 law enforcement and non-law enforcement support personnel across 25 domestic field offices and 208 locations nationwide, 30 overseas postings and multiple temporary duty travel assignments along the border.

Members of the public can report crime and suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form.

Learn more about ICE’s mission to increase public safety in your community on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @EROBoston.