News and Press Releases

Man was Arrested as He Brought Three Brazilian Citizens Across Border from Canada

August 11, 2009

RENATO SOARES DE ALMEIDA, a/k/a, Renato De Almeida-Soraes, 25, a citizen of Brazil, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 5 months in prison for bringing aliens into the United States. SOARES DE ALMEIDA was arrested March 19, 2009 in Sumas, Washington as he attempted to lead three other Brazilian citizens into the U.S. from Canada. At sentencing U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said SOARES DE ALMEIDA would likely be deported to Brazil following his prison term.

According to the documents filed in the case, around 9:00 p.m. on March 19, 2009, remote sensors alerted Border Patrol agents that a group of people had passed over the border from Canada into the United States near the Sumas River. A search of the area turned up four Brazilian nationals – three men and one woman. SOARES DE ALMEIDA admitted with his guilty plea on April 29, 2009, that he was leading the group across the border to pay off the debt he owed to the person who arranged for him to be smuggled across. SOARES DE ALMEIDA told investigators that he had a $5,000 smuggling debt to a person in Canada. SOARES DE ALMEIDA had paid off most of the debt by leading people across the border both north and south. With this trip he would have paid off his smuggling debt. As in previous smuggling episodes, SOARES DE ALMEIDA planned to call a taxi to pick up the group when they arrived in downtown Sumas.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) following the apprehension by the U.S. Border Patrol.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney John Odell. Mr. Odell is an attorney employed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who is specially designated to prosecute immigration matters in federal court.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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