Police: Chilean Illegal Immigrants Linked to Crime Ring Sweeping East Coast, Southern U.S.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 21: Police patrol outside of a migrant shelter in Brooklyn on Ju
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Police have tracked down a group of Chilean illegal immigrants who have been linked to a string of burglaries across the southern U.S. and east coast, as well as a crime ring in Latin America.

Five migrants who allegedly burglarized a Reisterstown, Maryland, home on the evening of February 3 were caught while fleeing the scene in a vehicle, the Baltimore County Police Department said.

Upon further investigation, police found that suspects 20-year-old Gabriel Matamala-Ponce, 21-year-old Thomas Crisosto-Araya, 22-year-old Jorge Gatica-Vergara, 23-year-old Luis Oyanedel-Valenzuela, and 27-year-old Gabriel Miranda-Gonzalez were alleged participants in four other residential burglaries in Baltimore County as well as cases in North Carolina, Alabama, and Oklahoma.

Officials added that the suspects are “believed to be part of a South American Theft Group (SATG).”

All suspects have been charged with first-degree attempted burglary and various other burglary-related crimes and are being held in Baltimore County on an immigration detainer, Fox News reports.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the outlet that its Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) division determined that Crisosto-Araya, Gatica-Vergara, Miranda-Gonzalez, and Oyanedel-Valenzuela all entered the country lawfully as non-immigrants but unlawfully overstayed their welcome.

The agency added that the fifth suspect, Matamala-Ponce, entered the U.S. illegally altogether.

According to the Orange County, North Carolina, sheriff’s office, arrest warrants were issued for Crisosto-Araya, Gatica-Vergara, Oyanedel-Valenzuela, and Matamala-Ponce on February 28 for another burglary.

Miranda-Gonzalez had already been caught in Orange County, Florida, for petty theft in 2022, but he only had to pay a fine and was released.

With the immigration detainers from ICE, local and state officials have been requested to notify the federal agency “before releasing a non-citizen from custody,” according to Fox News.


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