National Security

‘Serious Threat’: Agents Arrest 10 Members Of Infamous Venezuelan Prison Gang At Southern Border

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Jason Hopkins Immigration Reporter
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Border Patrol announced the apprehension of ten foreign nationals affiliated with an international prison gang over the Memorial Day weekend, highlighting the threat emanating from the U.S.-Mexico border.

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens announced the arrest of ten individuals affiliated with Tren de Aragua, an international criminal organization originating in Venezuela whose members have been behind numerous high-profile crimes across the country. The Border Patrol chief confirmed the gang members will be processed for deportation. (RELATED: Latin American Gangs Have Adopted This New Tactic To Enter The US)

“Over the weekend, USBP agents across Texas arrested 10 subjects affiliated with the Venezuelan gang, ‘Tren de Aragua,’ Owens tweeted on Wednesday. “Keep your eye on this gang. Their criminal activities represent a serious threat to our communities! All 10 subjects will be processed for removal from the US.”

Tren de Aragua began as a prison gang in the northern Venezuelan state of Aragua in 2014, according to reports. The gang has since grown exponentially into the biggest criminal organization in Venezuela, boasting around 5,000 members with an international presence across Latin America and the U.S.

The crime syndicate has been described as having “revolutionized” crime in Latin America and federal immigration authorities have warned that their members are attempting to grab a stronger foothold in the U.S.

Tren de Aragua members have allegedly been behind several high-profile crimes, such as the illegal immigrant accused of kidnapping and strangling to death a Florida man last year. Diego Ibarra, the brother of the illegal immigrant accused of killing Georgia nursing student Lakin Riley, is another suspected Tren de Aragua gang member who was arrested after allegedly trying to hand an official a fake green card, and carries a litany of other charges against him.

Senate and House Republicans earlier this year urged the Biden administration to formally designate Tren de Aragua as a transnational criminal organization, arguing that doing so would better manage the threat the group poses.

“Tren de Aragua is an invading criminal army from a prison in Venezuela that has spread their brutality and chaos to U.S. cities and small towns. If left unchecked, they will unleash an unprecedented reign of terror, mirroring the devastation it has already inflicted in communities throughout Central and South America,” the GOP lawmakers wrote in March. “The breadth of Tren de Aragua’s operations encompasses murder, drug and human trafficking, sex crimes, extortion, and kidnapping, among other brutalities.”

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