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Brazilian Couple Arrested for International Kidnapping of a Child

HOUSTON – An international businessman and his wife have been arrested and charged with conspiracy and international parental kidnapping, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Carlos Otavio Guimaraes, 67, and Jemima Guimaraes, 65, were arrested at Miami, Florida, International Airport early this morning as they arrived on a flight from Brazil. They are set to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge John J. O’Sullivan at 1:30 p.m. today in Miami, at which time the government expects to request their continued detention pending further criminal proceedings.

The criminal complaint filed in Houston alleges they and their daughter – Marcelle Guimaraes, 39 – conspired to illegally retain the child in Brazil. The mother and minor child had traveled to Brazil to attend a family event in July 2013, but were supposed to return to Houston no later than July 20, 2013, according to the charges. Marcelle Guimaraes is also charged but not as yet in custody.

As of the filing of the complaint, the child has not returned to the United States.

If convicted, each faces up to five years in federal prison for the conspiracy as well as a maximum of three years if convicted of the kidnapping charge.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Zack is prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.

A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

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