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updated 4/15/2011 7:58:02 PM ET 2011-04-15T23:58:02

An international fugitive who authorities say skipped out on a prison sentence in Portugal has been brought down by a formidable obstacle that rankles commuters every day: the New Jersey Turnpike.

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Manuel Albert Soares was convicted in 2008 of trying to hire hit men to kill his ex-wife and went on the lam. He was pulled over April 11 for driving in a car pool lane with fewer than the requisite three passengers.

When officers checked his driver's license, they discovered an international warrant for his arrest.

Soares made his first appearance in a Newark federal courtroom Friday to be informed of the extradition request.

Portuguese authorities want Soares returned because he is due to serve time on the murder-for-hire scheme. His court-appointed lawyer declined to comment.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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