Police in Gaston County, North Carolina, arrested three illegal immigrants on charges of trafficking approximately $200,000 in methamphetamine. One of the suspects is reportedly a previously deported MS-13 member who was recently arrested and released in neighboring Mecklenburg County.
The Gaston County Police Department arrested Cristian Cabrera-Rivas, 36; Silvia Hernandez-Iturralde, 29; and Marco Tulio Ramos Garcia, 35, earlier this month following an investigation into a large scale drug trafficking operation in the county, the Gaston Gazette reported. Investigators arrested the trio of illegal immigrants for allegedly trafficking 2 kilograms of methamphetamine with a value of about $200,000, police officials confirmed to Breitbart News on Thursday.
Cabrera-Rivas is reported to have been deported on multiple occasions, the local newspaper reported. He is also reported to be a member of the MS-13 gang.
WCNC NBC reported that the arrest took place near a mall that that that several children were present with the suspects at the time of the raid and were placed into protective custody. The nationality of the children was not released.
The Gaston Gazette reports that police in neighboring Mecklenburg County arrested Cabrera-Rivas in December on multiple violent charges. Those charges include assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, assault by pointing a gun, communicating threats and possession of a stolen gun, the newspaper reported.
Breitbart News reached out to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office for information about why the previously deported MS-13 gang member was released after being arrested on violent charges. No response has been received from the sheriff’s public information manager.
The website for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office lists several articles that appear to boast about the new sheriff’s ending of the 287g program that provides for cooperation between federal and local officials on immigration-related issues.
A Gaston County commissioner expressed frustration that the previously deported MS-13 gang member with an alleged history of violence was in the country at all, WSOCTV News9 reported. “It’s my life and your life that’s out here,” Gaston County Commissioner Chad Brown told the local news outlet. “We have to stop this, and the only way we can stop this is by having stronger immigration.”
The commissioner told reporters that he wants to see law enforcement work harder to deport people who are illegally present in the U.S.
Latin American Coalition advocate Yisel Maren appeared to agree with the commissioner. “We are not going to defend when (they come) to this country to harm people,” she told the local television station reported. “The community is going to lose the trust we are trying to build.”
Gaston County jail records obtained by Breitbart News reveal that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers placed an immigration detainer with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office for all three suspects. A court set bond for Hernandez-Iturralde and Garcia at $250,000 and $275,000 for Cabrera-Rivas.
The Gaston Gazette reports that Garcia is also the subject of an existing deportation order from an immigration judge.