Portuguese National Sentenced for Assaulting Federal Officer
Defendant failed to appear in state court twice and was released by Barnstable District Court who did not honor immigration detainer
BOSTON – A Portuguese national was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for assaulting a federal officer during his arrest by immigration and customs enforcement officers.
Pedro Ramalho Peixoto, 23, a Portuguese national residing in New Bedford, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin to 10 months in prison. Peixoto will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. In February 2018, Peixoto pleaded guilty to one count of assault on a federal officer.
On Nov. 1, 2016, Peixoto was arrested for trespassing, but failed to appear in Court to face the charge. The New Bedford District Court subsequently issued a warrant for Peixoto’s arrest. On July 5, 2017, Peixoto was arrested in Barnstable on two drug charges. He again failed to appear in court to face charges, and the Barnstable District Court subsequently issued a warrant for his arrest.
On Sept. 17, 2017, law enforcement arrested Peixoto on the two warrants. It was determined that Peixoto entered the United States on June 15, 2014, on a 90 day visa from Portugal, and that Peixoto had overstayed his visa. Immigration officials thus filed a detainer for Peixoto. However, on Sept. 18, 2017, when Peixoto was transferred from New Bedford District Court to Barnstable District Court to face that Court’s warrant, the Barnstable District Court released Peixoto without honoring the immigration detainer.
On Oct. 12, 2017, immigration officers located Peixoto in New Bedford and confronted him about his immigration status in the United States. Peixoto attempted to walk away, at which point the officers restrained Peixoto, who began resisting and shouting. By the time Peixoto was restrained, one of the officers reported being bitten by Peixoto multiple times during the arrest.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Thomas P. Brophy, Acting Field Office Director, Boston, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Soivilien of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.