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BOSTON, MA - A Brazilian man was convicted yesterday in federal court of conspiracy and alien smuggling for profit.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent
in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations in Boston, announced today that JOSE NETO, age 43, was convicted by a jury sitting before U.S. District Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf of one count of criminal conspiracy and three counts of smuggling illegal aliens to the United States for commercial gain.

Evidence presented during the six day trial proved that beginning in 2003 and continuing through about March 2005 the defendant participated in smuggling men from Brazil into the United States for a fee of $10,000 dollars. The defendant provided the financing for the smuggling scheme. He further provided the illegal aliens with employment in a cleaning service, collecting some of the smuggling fee up front and deducting the rest from their paychecks with interest.

Chief Judge Wolf scheduled sentencing for May 5, 2010. NETO faces up to 15 years on each substantive count, as well as a mandatory minimum 5 years for those counts. He also faces up to 5 years on the criminal conspiracy count, up to 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eugenia M. Carris and Jeffrey M. Cohen of Ortiz's Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.


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