MIAMI – A Brazilian national, who was wanted by law enforcement authorities in his native country for counterfeiting money, was deported on Monday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Leandro Batista Cortez, 44, was turned over to authorities in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday.
Batista Cortez, who had been an ICE fugitive since May 2005 when an immigration judge ordered him deported, was arrested by ICE ERO officers last month during Operation Cross Check, a targeted law enforcement operation in which ICE apprehended more than 2,400 criminal aliens throughout the United States. He has a June 27, 2007, outstanding arrest warrant by the Brazilian Federal Justice Department for rendering counterfeit money into circulation.
"Returning this fugitive to Brazil is a prime example of how ICE works closely with our international law enforcement partners to identify, locate and deport aliens who are wanted in their home countries for allegedly committing crimes," said Marc Moore, field office director for ICE ERO in Miami. "ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens. As a result, our communities are safer and more secure."
ICE ERO Miami coordinated the removal of Batista Cortez with the ICE Attaché office in Brasilia and the Brazilian Federal Police.