A Brazilian fugitive convicted of raping a 5-year-old child in his home country was arrested on Martha’s Vineyard last week after authorities learned the sex offender was in the United States illegally.
Officers from Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston, a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, arrested the pedophile – identified by the MV Times as Saulo Cardoso Ferreira — during a traffic stop in West Tisbury last Tuesday, officials said.
“This undocumented Brazilian citizen posed a significant threat to the residents of Martha’s Vineyard,” Todd Lyons, head of ERO’s Boston field office, said in a statement. “He sexually assaulted a five-year-old child in his home country and then fled the authorities when he was held accountable for his actions.”
Cardoso Ferreira, 37, was convicted of multiple crimes in Brazil over the disturbing rape and sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2019.
However, he never showed up to serve his sentence in May of this year and was believed to have fled the country, ICE said. Authorities in the Brazilian city of Sorriso, Mato Grosso, then issued an arrest warrant for him.
Investigators don’t know when the convicted sex offender entered the United States, but say he entered the country illegally – without being checked or approved by immigration officials.
According to ICE, ERO Boston only learned of Cardoso Ferreira’s presence on the island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on September 28.
ERO Boston officers arrested him on November 14th. He will remain in ERO custody pending deportation proceedings, ICE officials said.
According to ICE, ERO officers arrested 46,396 non-citizens with criminal histories across the U.S. in fiscal year 2022.
“ERO Boston will not allow such predators to threaten our residents,” Lyons said. “We will continue to arrest and remove anyone who attempts to use our New England community as a sanctuary from justice.”
Martha’s Vineyard became the focus of discussion over illegal immigration last year after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent migrants to the tiny island, overwhelming its infrastructure and housing market.
However, there is no known connection between the migrants flown to the popular vacation spot and Cardoso Ferreira, who may have been in the U.S. for much longer and possibly on the island, as he is believed to have been following his conviction in the year fled Brazil in 2019.