June 21, 2024


Former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez was deported to Venezuela earlier this month more than two years after he was convicted of statutory sexual assault, sexual abuse of children, and child pornography and other charges in Pennsylvania, officials said Wednesday.

ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Philadelphia removed Vazquez on Dec. 1. Vazquez’s real name is Felipe Javier Rivero Blanco.

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Felipe Vazquez deportation

Felipe Vazquez with officers in 2023. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

“Rivero Blanco’s removal demonstrates ERO Philadelphia’s commitment to protecting U.S. persons from predators regardless of their public persona or status,” ERO Philadelphia Field Office Director Cammilla Wamsley said in a statement.

Officials lodged an immigration detainer notice of action with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections in November 2021. It was six months after he was convicted of the charges.

The two-time MLB All-Star was sentenced to 2-4 years in prison in August 2021. The sentence included two years of probation.

He was initially charged in September 2019 with statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, and indecent assault of a person younger in connection with an alleged inappropriate relationship he had with a 13-year-old in 2017 who reached out to him on social media.

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Felipe Vazquez vs Cardinals

Felipe Vazquez of the Pirates delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on Sept. 6, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (Justin Berl/Getty Images)

In November 2019, he was slammed with 21 additional charges after investigators said they found evidence of child pornography on his phone and laptop in connection to the same case.

Police found seven photos and three videos Vazquez and the girl exchanged in which they both were “in various stages of nudity,” according to court documents. The graphic imagery was discovered on electronic devices confiscated from Vazquez when he was first arrested.

Vazquez allegedly met the 13-year-old victim at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park and took pictures with her outside the bullpen. A complaint revealed that at the time of his arrest he told police he had “sex but not really” with the girl in 2017. During the trial, prosecutors showed the jury alleged text messages between the two in which Vazquez called the teen his “slave” in his “possession.”

Felipe Vazquez vs Phillies

Felipe Vazquez of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 27, 2019, in Philadelphia. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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Vazquez faced more child pornography charges in May 2020 in Missouri. He allegedly sent a photo of himself masturbating to a 15-year-old Pennsylvania resident on July 16. The same night, he picked up a save in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. He is facing similar charges in Florida as well.

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