News release originally published by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida

Brazilian National Found Guilty of Making False Statements in Naturalization Proceedings

Release Date: Nov. 13, 2018

On Nov. 9, 2018, Etevaldo Ferreira De Souza, 47, of West Palm Beach, Florida, was found guilty by a jury of one count of making false statements in a naturalization proceeding, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1015(a).

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Mark Selby, special agent in charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

According to the evidence presented at trial, De Souza was charged with aggravated homicide and armed conspiracy in Brazil in 1993. According to the Brazilian charges, De Souza, although not himself a police officer, conspired with corrupt police officers to commit a murder. In or before 1998, De Souza entered the United States illegally.  In 2012, De Souza applied to become a lawful permanent resident pursuant to the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act of 2000, which allowed certain people who entered the United States illegally to obtain legal status. In his application for residency, De Souza attested that had never been charged for breaking or violating any law or ordinance, excluding traffic violations. De Souza’s application was granted, and he became a lawful resident, in January 2013. In April of that year, the Brazilian charges were dismissed. On July 28, 2017, De Souza applied to become a United States citizen. On his application, De Souza attested that he had never been charged with committing, attempting to commit, or assisting in committing a crime or offense.

De Souza’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 18, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra. De Souza faces a maximum possible statutory sentence of five years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI in this matter.  She thanked the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for their assistance. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Osborne.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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