Border Patrol agents in Los Angeles arrested seven foreign nationals believed to be associated with a “cross –border narcotics smuggling organization.” The arrests follow a prior bust in April where officials seized 33 pounds of cocaine and $630,000 in cash.
Border Patrol agents arrested Claudia Rueda-Vidal, 22, on an immigration violation. Authorities stated she is illegally residing in the U.S. in violation of the terms of her visa, according to information provided to Breitbart Texas by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesman Mark Endicott. Rueda-Vidal is the daughter of Teresa Vidal-Jaime and Hugo Rueda. Law enforcement officials arrested the couple on April 24 during a raid where police say large amounts of drugs and cash were discovered.
Following the arrest of her parents in April, Rueda-Vidal appeared at a protest, joining other activist rebelling against immigration enforcement by the Trump Administration, the Los Angeles Times reported. After Vidal-Javier gave investigators permission to search her apartment, officials found $600,000 in cash and one ounce of crystal methamphetamine.
One of the protest organizers, Marcela Hernandez, told the West Coast newspaper that Vidal-Jaime “didn’t know anything about anything in the apartment. She let them in.”
Vidal-Jaime and her daughter illegally entered the U.S. in 2001, officials reported. Rueda-Vidal is reportedly attending classes at Cal State Los Angeles. “I know my mother is innocent, and both [the Sheriff’s Department and Border Patrol] know that, which is why they were supposed to let her go,” she said in an April statement. Rueda-Vidal is also known to be an immigration activist. The photo above shows her 2012 arrest by Los Angeles police during a protest over the Secure Communities immigration program. That program worked to help remove criminal aliens from jails and turn them over to immigration officials for deportation.
Police arrested the young woman again in 2015 on trespassing charges. They arrested her outside the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services building.
“We think it is retaliation against her mother for her daughter’s activism,” Hernandez told reporters regarding Vidal-Jaime’s arrest.
Despite an immigration detainer being placed on Vidal-Jaime, officials caved to political pressure and released the woman on May 12 on a $2,000 bond, the LA Times reported.
Border Patrol agents arrested Rueda-Vidal for living in the U.S. illegally. She reportedly violated terms of her visa. Breitbart Texas reached out to CBP officials to discover what type of visa Rueda-Vidal violated, and her connection to the drugs and money. A response from CBP was not immediately available.
The LA Times reported that, despite all her protests about immigration issues, she has not bothered to apply for President Obama’s amnesty program, DACA.
Responding to a question from the LA Times, Endicott explained the arrests of the seven migrants, including Rueda-Vidal, “was to disrupt the entire organization.”
On Friday afternoon, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson Virginia Kice released a statement regarding the college student’s arrest and detention.
“Department of Homeland Security databases indicate Ms. Rueda currently has no legal authorization to be in the United States,” Kice stated. “Accordingly, she has been placed in removal proceedings.… It will now be up to an immigration judge … to determine whether Ms. Rueda has a legal basis to remain in the U.S. or will be ordered removed.”
In addition to the arrest of Rueda-Vidal, Border Patrol agents arrested five male Mexican nationals and one female Guatemalan national. The arrests took place at multiple locations around the city. Agents arrested all of the foreign nationals on immigration violations.
“These targeted arrests should send a stern message to anyone linked to transnational smuggling,” Deputy Chief Patrol Agent of the San Diego Sector Roy D. Villareal said in a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Our agents will be relentless in their effort to put these organizations out of business.”