ICE deports Oregon mixed martial arts fighter to Brazil

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SEATTLE — A former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight contender convicted in Oregon of attempted child sex abuse charges was deported Tuesday to Brazil by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Hermes Franca De Barros, aka Hermes Franca Barros, 39, formerly of Clackamas County, Ore., was removed by commercial airliner from the U.S. under ERO officer escort.

ERO officers encountered De Barros while he was incarcerated by the Oregon Department of Corrections. He was serving a 42-month prison term for his 2012 felony convictions for attempted second degree unlawful sexual penetration and attempted first degree sexual abuse of a minor under 14. According to court records, the abuse involved a student at his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy in Clackamas.

In March 2014, De Barros was remanded to ICE custody after completing his Oregon sentence and placed in removal proceedings. Although he was a lawful permanent resident, an immigration judge with the Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review found De Barros deportable and March 19 ordered him removed from the U.S. He was held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma until his removal.

"If not for prison officials honoring an ICE detainer, Mr. De Barros would have been released into the community and free to reoffend," said Nathalie Asher, field office director for ERO Seattle, who oversees immigration enforcement in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. "ICE is using its unique immigration enforcement authorities to protect our communities from criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety."

According to Department of Homeland Security databases, De Barros was first lawfully admitted to the U.S. in 2005. He later adjusted to lawful permanent resident status in 2007.

In fiscal year 2013, ICE conducted 368,644 removals nationwide. Eighty-two percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.

ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.

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