A foreign national who was convicted and wanted by Brazilian authorities for international human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation was removed from the United States yesterday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Stefania Joaquina Campos Rezende, a 39-year-old citizen of Brazil, was arrested Feb. 14 by a Fugitive Operations Team assigned to ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) office in Baltimore.
She was identified as an fugitive alien after an immigration judge issued her a final order of removal in 2006. She arrived at Belo Horizonte International Airport in Brazil yesterday and was turned over to local authorities to serve the sentence in her human trafficking conviction.
“ICE is committed to targeting, arresting and removing international criminals who attempt to use the United States as a safe haven from prison sentences,” said ERO Baltimore Field Office Director Dorothy Herrera-Niles.
“The removal of a convicted human trafficker will keep our community safer, and allow exploited victims in Brazil to receive justice.”
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Campos Rezende had been detained at the Worcester County Jail, located in Snow Hill, Maryland, since she entered ICE custody in February. In addition to her conviction in Brazil, Campos Rezende was recently convicted on felony drug charges stateside.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 1,700 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder.
In fiscal year 2016, ICE conducted 240,255 removals nationwide. Ninety-two percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.
ERO works with the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Office of International Operations, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the United States.
Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE tip line at 1 (866) 347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.
For more information about the Department of Homeland Security’s overall efforts against human trafficking, please visit http://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign.