Illegals caught in town Friday, June 9, 2006
Norman Miller 508-626-3823 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- At least five illegal immigrants were arrested Wednesday as part of a sweep by immigration authorities.

The five residents were arrested as part of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's "Operation: Return to Sender."

The five were nabbed between 6:04 and 11:15 p.m. on immigration detainer warrants.

Donny C. Rivera, 26, of 78 Morton St.; Samuel Freitas, 36, of 11 Fairview Road; Gedeao Bicalho, no age available, of 16 Buckminster St.; Celeste Souza, 29, of 64 Hollis St.; and Nivaldo Nascimento-Souza, 20, of 64 Cedar St., were arrested.

ICE national spokesman Mark Raimondi said he did not have information about the operation, but said the Boston field office is especially busy.

"The Boston office literally wrote the book on fugitive apprehension operations," said Raimondi.  "The majority of the people they arrest have criminal records, or they may be fugitive aliens."

Arresting immigrants who have committed crimes locally is important, Raimondi said.  He said one out of two illegal immigrants will re-offend.

Operations such as Return to Sender are growing more common.  In mid-2005, 17 fugitive teams were operating.  By the end of fiscal 2006, 52 teams will be running and by the end of fiscal 2007, there will be 70 teams nationwide.

"These teams are absolutely imperative to public safety," Raimondi said.

Raimondi is unsure if the arrests in Framingham are part of a larger operation, or if it was contained to a single town.  He said the Boston office handles a large area.  Teams from other states can make arrests in Massachusetts.

"One of the beauties of being a federal agency, we're not bound by jurisdictions," Raimondi said.

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