Making Immigration Happen
Chicago Woman Arrested for Selling Fraudulent Identity Documents to Illegal Aliens
A woman was arrested Wednesday, February 13, 2013, on charges she allegedly sold fraudulent identity documents to illegal aliens. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigra

Tag Archives: violence

MS-13 Gang Officially Designated a Transnational Criminal Organization by HSI

On Thursday, October 11, 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) with the assistance of the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) designated the Latin American gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) as a transnational criminal organization (TCO). This group is being designated by Treasury pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13581, which targets significant TCOs and their supporters. E.O. 13581 is a key part of the National Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime.

Using the authority provided in E.O. 13581, Treasury is targeting the economic power of MS-13 as a transnational criminal network – and those individuals and entities who work with them, enable them and support them – by freezing any assets those persons may have within U.S. jurisdiction. Any property or property interests in the U.S., or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which these targets have an interest are blocked, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

“This designation allows us to strike at the financial heart of MS-13 and is a powerful weapon in our fight to dismantle one of the most violent, transnational criminal organizations operating today,” said ICE Director John Morton. “History has proven that we can successfully take down organized crime groups when we combine sophisticated investigative techniques with tough street level enforcement, cutting off cash flows, contraband and collaborators to ensure they no longer find safe haven in our communities.”

“MS-13 is an extremely violent and dangerous gang responsible for a multitude of crimes that directly threaten the welfare and security of U.S. citizens, as well as countries throughout Central America,” Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen stated. “This action positions us to target the associates and financial networks supporting MS-13, and gives law enforcement an additional tool in its efforts to disrupt MS-13’s activities.”

MS-13 is being designated for its involvement in serious criminal activities, including drug trafficking, human smuggling and sex trafficking, murder and violence, racketeering, and immigration offenses. MS-13, consisting of at least 30,000 members and present in at least five countries, including the United States, is one of the most dangerous criminal gangs in the world today. MS-13 violently protects its illicit interests through murder, murder for hire, kidnapping, blackmail, extortion and assassination. MS-13’s creed is exemplified by one of its mottos, “mata, roba, viola, controla,” which translates in sum and substance to “kill, steal, rape, control.” In addition, MS-13 members have been responsible for numerous killings within the United States.

The HSI National Gang Unit will take the law enforcement lead, under this MS-13 enforcement effort dubbed, “Operation Barbed Wire.” The National Gang Unit removes gang members from our neighborhoods and, when appropriate, from the United States. In 2005, HSI initiated Operation Community Shield, an international law enforcement initiative to enhance U.S. public safety. Operation Community Shield partners with existing federal, state and local anti-gang efforts to identify violent street gangs and develop intelligence on gang members and associates, gang criminal activities and international movements, to arrest, prosecute, imprison and/or deport transnational gang members as well as to suppress violence and prosecute criminal enterprises. The National Gang Unit’s goal is to deter, disrupt and dismantle gang operations by tracing and seizing cash, weapons and other assets derived from criminal activities. Since 2006, HSI has arrested 4,078 MS-13 gang members and, partnering with the U.S. Department of Justice, has successfully brought to indictment numerous MS-13 racketeering investigations in Washington, D.C., Virginia, New York, San Francisco, Houston, and Atlanta.

MS-13 is the first transnational criminal street gang designated as a TCO. Others TCOs include the The Brothers’ Circle, Camorra, Yakuza, and Los Zetas in the United States.

Mexican Natives Arrested for Alien Smuggling

Three Mexican men face federal human smuggling and illegal reentry charges after the drop house they were allegedly operating in Mesa was discovered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents Wednesday, June 27, 2012.

Jesus Castillo-Mejia, 47, and Genaro Guzman-Guzman, 29, appeared in federal court Thursday, where they were charged with human smuggling. A third man, Marco Guzman-Guzman, 27, Genaro Guzman-Guzman’s brother, was charged with illegally reentering the United States following a previous deportation order.

HSI special agents were first alerted to the drop house Wednesday, June 27, 2012, when they received a tip that numerous suspected illegal aliens were being staged at a residence located on South Hobson Street in Mesa. When special agents responded to the location, they observed several people attempting to flee from the house. They pursued the individuals back into the house and obtained a federal search warrant to search the property. Inside the house, special agents discovered the defendants and 22 other illegal aliens, from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Ecuador. The group included three women and one teenage boy. Special agents also found a 9 mm pistol when they searched the house.

“While the number of drop houses in the Phoenix area has declined over the past few years, this case illustrates that human smuggling remains a cold, ruthless business,” said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of HSI Arizona. “To the smugglers, these people are simply a commodity, not human beings. HSI is committed to finding these criminals, arresting them, and working with our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring them to justice.”

According to the criminal complaints, Castillo-Mejia showed the smuggled aliens a handgun, ordered them to stay in the house and threatened to pistol whip anyone who attempted to escape. He later demanded an additional $1,000 smuggling fee from one of the women in the group. Witnesses stated that Genaro Guzman-Guzman referred to the aliens as “pollos” or chickens, and pointed a gun at a woman in the group.

The investigation is ongoing.

HSI has encountered 18 drop houses containing more than 200 illegal aliens in the metropolitan Phoenix area since January.

Members of Korean Gang Indicted for Extortion, Threats of Violence

The alleged leader of the Korean Night Breeders street gang in Fairfax County, Va., and another gang member have been indicted by a federal grand jury for using fear, violence, and threats of violence to extort or attempt to extort various businesses in the Annandale area of Fairfax County, following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Han Sa Yu, 43, a citizen of the Republic of Korea living in Fairfax, Va., is alleged to be the leader of the Korean Night Breeders, and Je Hyung Yoo, 29, a citizen of the Republic of Korea who is unlawfully present in the United States and living in Rockville, Md., are each charged with conspiracy to commit extortion, attempted extortion and four counts of extortion. Each offense carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison, if convicted.

According to the indictment, from January 2006 through June 2012, Yu and Yoo allegedly approached owners of doumi, restaurants, and taxi businesses operating in theAnnandalearea ofFairfaxCounty, and threatened the owners with violence and beatings unless they paid a “tax” or “protection” money. The indictment alleges that Yu, Yoo, and other gang members attacked a taxi driver and threatened him with death, and after the beating instructed the victim to pay the demanded money. Another victim was threatened with further violence after being accused of calling the police about threats. Victims allegedly paid between $200 and $1,000 at a time and received threatening reminders each time another payment was due.

The investigation was conducted by HSI Washington, D.C. with assistance from the Fairfax County Police Department.

Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.