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Press Release

South Sudanese National Charged with Assaulting a Deportation Officer During Removal

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON - A South Sudanese national was charged today in federal court in Boston with assaulting a deportation officer at the Suffolk County House of Corrections as he was being processed for removal.


Charles Ali, 31, was arrested this morning and charged with assault on a federal officer. Ali appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley, who ordered Ali detained and scheduled a probable cause and detention hearing for Sept. 27, 2017, at 2:00 pm.


According to court documents, on Feb. 16, 2011, Ali was ordered removed from the United States back to the Republic of South Sudan. On Sept. 11, 2017, federal deportation officers arrived at the Suffolk County House of Corrections and informed Ali that he was scheduled for removal that morning and that the officers would be traveling with him.  Ali questioned the officers’ authority to remove him and refused to sign removal documents and provide the officers his fingerprints. An altercation ensued, resulting in one of the officers sustaining a broken ankle.  A decision was then made to abort the removal proceedings and return Ali to federal immigration custody.


Ali faces a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and will be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.


Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Christopher Cronen, Field Office Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations, Boston Field Office, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Weinreb’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.


The details contained in the charging document are allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated September 25, 2017