New Jersey

Convicted Drug Smuggling Illegal Deported From U.S. by ICE as He’s Released from Prison

PHILADELPHIA, PA — On Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers removed a fugitive wanted by Canadian authorities for escape from a federal correctional institution in Quebec Province.

Laveaux Francois, 56, a native of Haiti and citizen of Canada, entered the United States without admission or parole by an immigration officer.

On Nov. 13, 1990, the former U.S. Customs Service arrested Francois as he attempted to offload a large quantity of cocaine from a docked vessel in Miami, Florida.

On July 30, 1991, the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (SDFL), convicted Francois of conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States; importation of cocaine to the United States; conspiracy with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. SDFL sentenced Francois to 324 months incarceration. However, on Dec. 18, 1992, SDFL reduced his sentence to 180 months.

On Sept. 21, 1994, the Federal Bureau of Prisons transferred custody of Francois to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) in Montreal, Quebec. After approximately eight months of incarceration, CSC granted Francois a furlough.  Francois did not return from furlough and fled to Haiti.

Conviction documents indicate Francois continued to smuggle large amounts of cocaine into the United States from Haiti.

On July 16, 2007, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) arrested Francois in Haiti.

On July 17, 2007, DEA agents extradited Francois to the United States where U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, paroled Francois into the United States for prosecution.

On Dec. 6, 2007, SDFL convicted Francois of two counts of conspiracy to import into the United States five kilograms or more of cocaine; importation into the United States 500 grams or more of cocaine; possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine; two counts of importation into the United States five kilograms or more of cocaine and two counts of possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. SDFL sentenced Francois to 400 months incarceration.

On Oct. 18, 2018, SDFL reduced Francois’ sentence to 158 months.

On Oct. 26, 2018, ERO Philadelphia arrested Francois upon his release from Moshannon Valley Correctional Center (MVCC) in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. ERO Philadelphia issued a notice and order of expedited removal; charging inadmissibility pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, as an immigrant without a valid, unexpired visa or other document required for admission.

On Oct. 31, 2018, ERO Philadelphia received and confirmed the existence of the arrest warrant the from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

ERO officers removed Francois from the United States and turned him over to Canadian authorities without incident.

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