Serrano Arrested in Boston Break-In

Pioneer Press (St. Paul), April 12, 2006

Francisco Javier Silva-Serrano, the Mexican national who posed as an Apple Valley High School student and then disappeared as he was being deported in January, was arrested last month for breaking in and entering an apartment in Boston.

A Boston police report said Serrano, armed with a knife, entered a Boston apartment about 3 a.m. March 29 and was struck over the head with a pot by the resident. The apartment’s occupant then followed Serrano outside and struggled with him until police officers arrived.

The arrest marks a dramatic turn for the 22-year-old Serrano, who made national headlines last year when he was caught posing as a student and living at the Apple Valley school. In the United States illegally, Serrano was unable to fight deportation.

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Police arrested him on trespassing charges, but his case sparked an outpouring of support. Touched by his story, Minneapolis businessman Basim Sabri bailed Serrano out of jail and promised to pay for his living expenses, legal needs and college tuition.

Serrano’s fortunes soon took a bad turn. Sabri received a 33-month federal prison sentence in May 2005 in connection with a Minneapolis bribery scandal. Several months later, an immigration judge ordered Serrano to leave the country or face arrest and deportation.

On Jan. 5 of this year, he hugged supporters at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport who had come to wish him well as he left, they thought, for Mexico. He walked toward the security screeners, but his plane ticket was never used.

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