Thursday, August 11, 2022

Feds Announce Bust of Guatemalan Migrant-Smuggling Ring; Feds Help Take Down Human Smuggling Ring in Guatemala, DOJ Officials Say, and related stories

AP Photo/Moises Castillo
Feds announce bust of Guatemalan migrant-smuggling ring:
Federal authorities on Thursday announced the takedown of a Guatemalan smuggling ring they said is responsible for “large numbers” of illegal immigrants making their way to the U.S. — and was involved in the death of one migrant woman in Texas last year.
Guatemalan police nabbed 19 people in the operation, including four who have been charged in U.S. courts.
Federal prosecutors say those four were involved in smuggling a woman last year, charging her nearly $10,000 for the journey from Guatemala and, after she died during the trip, dumping her body on the side of a Texas road.
U.S. officials said the arrests in Guatemala decapitated the smuggling operation.
“It has taken down the top levels of this organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr.
Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz also said they are seeing a turning point at the border, where illegal activity remains high but has come down from record levels this spring. --->READ MORE HERE
Feds help take down human smuggling ring in Guatemala, DOJ officials say
Four men await extradition to US; if convicted, they could face life in prison
A historical international takedown led by the US Department of Justice took place in Guatemala on Tuesday. Four Guatemalan nationals were indicted by Joint Task Force Alpha for their alleged connection to a human smuggling ring.
The initial announcement was made on Twitter by the Guatemalan government.
“Joint Task Force Alpha was created to investigate and prosecute the international networks responsible for dangerous and prolific human smuggling activities that exploit and victimize migrants,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said. “These indictments demonstrate the Department of Justice’s commitment to holding accountable criminal organizations that prey upon vulnerable people for profit.”
On Tuesday, Guatemalan authorities executed multiple search warrants that resulted in the arrests of 19 people, including four US fugitives identified as leaders of the human smuggling ring known as “Alfa Siete”. The men are identified as Felipe Diego Alonzo, aka “Siete,” 38; Nesly Norberto Martinez Gomez, aka “Canche,” 37; Lopez Mateo Mateo, aka “Bud Light,” 42; and Juan Gutierrez Castro, aka “Andres,” 45. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to related stories:

Four Guatemalan Nationals Indicted by Joint Task Force Alpha and Arrested as Part of Takedown of Deadly Human Smuggling Network Based in Guatemala

Justice Department catches 4 Guatemalan fugitives in effort to disrupt transnational human smuggling network

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