Migrant Gang Smuggling Illegal Immigrants into US via Canadian Border Exposed

A recently uncovered report has shed light on a migrant gang operating out of New Jersey, which has been facilitating the smuggling of illegal immigrants into the United States through the Canadian border. The gang, comprised of individuals from Guatemala and Colombia, has established a lucrative scheme charging $6,000 per person for their services. This revelation comes as US Border Patrol agents continue to grapple with an overwhelming influx of asylum seekers from Mexico.

The gang’s origins can be traced back to the founders’ brief detention and subsequent release by federal immigration authorities. Seizing the opportunity, the ringleaders clandestinely crossed the Mexican border and set up operations in New Jersey, evading the attention of law enforcement agencies. The Daily Mail’s report highlights how this Jersey-based gang has contributed to a surge in illegal crossings along the northern border, where scrutiny is comparatively less intense.

The gang capitalizes on the situation by smuggling immigrants from Quebec into Vermont, where the level of enforcement is significantly lower. In a recent incident, Elmer Bran-Galvez, an alleged driver for the smuggling ring, was apprehended by border agents in Franklin, Vermont, while transporting four illegal immigrants. Astonishingly, Bran-Galvez admitted to receiving approximately $1,800 for each illicit passenger but was not charged.

Last year alone, over 10,000 migrants were apprehended attempting to enter the US illegally from Canada, a figure nearly five times higher than in 2022. This alarming statistic underscores the magnitude of the rush across the northern border. While two of the gang’s ringleaders, Jhon Reina-Perez and Victor Lopez-Padilla, have been arrested by federal authorities, the flow of migrants has not been halted. Reina-Perez, a Colombian national, was initially released pending immigration proceedings after crossing the US southern border in Texas in April 2022. However, he failed to check in with authorities and was subsequently arrested again in October of the same year, only to be released once more. Lopez-Padilla, hailing from Guatemala, crossed into the US in Arizona in June 2019 and was also released pending future proceedings, allowing him and his accomplices to continue their smuggling operation.

The Daily Mail’s report suggests that Lopez-Padilla may have connections to incarcerated narcotrafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, as his Facebook account contains several references to the notorious drug kingpin. While Lopez-Padilla is now in custody, a third cohort, identified as Simon Jacinto-Ramos from Guatemala, remains at large, overseeing the operation.

The unique advantage exploited by this gang lies in Mexico’s inclusion on Canada’s list of “visa-exempt” countries. Migrants can travel to Mexico legally and then attempt to enter the US illegally, provided they can afford the hefty smuggling fee. Philip Kasinitz, a professor of immigration studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, suggests that some migrants may initially enter legally on various visas before crossing into the United States without inspection.

Although the situation along the US-Mexico border remains the focal point of the migrant crisis, with over 2 million illegal crossings recorded last year, the emergence of this New Jersey-based gang sheds light on the growing challenges faced by authorities along the northern border. As law enforcement agencies work to dismantle this smuggling operation, it is crucial to address the underlying factors driving migrants to seek illegal entry into the United States.


Author: CrimeDoor

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