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‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ Star Joe Giudice Released Into ICE’s Custody After Completing Prison Sentence

Trading one pair of handcuffs for another. Real Housewives of New Jersey star Joe Giudice was released from prison on Thursday, March 14, only to be immediately transferred into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Us Weekly can confirm.

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“Mr. Giudice has finished serving his federal prison sentence and was transferred early this morning from the Bureau of Prisons to a facility in western Pennsylvania which houses immigration detainees,” Teresa’s lawyer James Leonard said in a statement to Us on Thursday. “His lawyers and his family are hopeful that justice will prevail and Mr. Giudice will return home to his wife and four daughters who love him and miss him.”

According to Radar Online, Joe is at the Clinton County Correctional Facility in McElhattan, Pennsylvania. The outlet previously reported on February 26 that the Bravo star would not be coming home to his wife, Teresa Giudice, and their four children, Gia, 18, Gabriella, 14, Milania, 13, and Audriana, 9.

“ICE expects the Bureau of Prisons Allenwood Low Federal Correctional Institution to honor our detainer, and Mr. Giudice will be taken into ICE custody,” an official told the website.

Joe Giudice Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The reality star, 46, is expected to remain in a detention center until he is either deported to his native country of Italy or wins the appeal he filed in November against the order of deportation made by Judge John Ellington on October 10. He could remain in custody for up to a year while the appeal process plays out.

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Joe isn’t going to go down without a fight and is going to appeal the decision,” a source told Us in October ahead of Giudice’s filing. “This isn’t over, not by a long shot.”

The reality star’s attorney, James J. Leonard Jr., told the New York Post‘s Page Six on Friday, March 8, that they are hoping for a positive outcome. “We are optimistic that once his appeal is heard, he will receive the appropriate relief and will be able to come home and remain there with his family. They love him, they support him and they miss him tremendously,” he said.

The businessman pleaded guilty to 41 counts of fraud, including mail, wire and bankruptcy, in March 2014. He and Teresa, 46, were also forced to pay restitution to the IRS and New Jersey’s Department of Treasury, though their bankruptcy case was dismissed in June.

He reported to the Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution on March 23, 2016, to begin his 41-month sentence.

Teresa, who served 11 months in prison in 2015, told Andy Cohen during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in March that she would split from her spouse if he was sent back to Italy. “I’m not doing a long-distance relationship. I’m not doing it,” the Standing Strong author said. “You know, I want somebody with me every day. I know exactly what happens. You know, I’m sure he’ll be with other women. It happens. We do the long-distance thing, it’s not going to work. I’d be like, ‘Bye bye.’”

Related: Everything Teresa Giudice Has Said About Joe's Deportation

The fitness competitor was spotted holding hands with Blake Schreck, who is 20 years her junior, during a weekend getaway to Miami in February and later ditched her wedding ring.

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