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U.S. Says Migrants Arrested for Attacking NYPD in Times Square Belong to ‘Tren de Aragua’ Venezuelan Gang

The migrants were captured by immigration agents inside a Bronx apartment after police executed an arrest warrant for another asylum seeker wanted in the Times Square attack.
Wilson Juárez y Kelvin Servita-Arocha pertenecen a la banda "Tren de Aragua" | Captura de pantalla
Wilson Juárez y Kelvin Servita-Arocha pertenecen a la banda “Tren de Aragua” | Captura de pantalla

Two migrants accused of beating of NYPD officers in Times Square are members of the dangerous Venezuelan gang Tren de Aragua, according to U.S. federal immigration officials.

Wilson Juárez, 21, and Kelvin Servita-Arocha, 19, were captured by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials on Feb. 13, and now stand accused of beating two police officers in Times Square.

The incident occurred at the end of January in front of a migrant reception center. The two young Venezuelans are being held in New York without bail.

“The two foreigners have been identified as members of the transnational criminal organization El Tren de Aragua,” Marie Ferguson, ICE spokesperson, told Noticias Telemundo.

Juárez and Arocha were captured inside a Bronx apartment after police officers executed an arrest warrant for another asylum seeker also wanted for the Times Square attack.

This is Darwin Andrés Gómez-Izquiel, 19, who was released after the beating of the two police officers, but was arrested again in February for participating in the coordinated robbery of a Macy's department store in Queens, and for assault one of the employees.

“The rule of law and those who enforce it must be respected,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement released Thursday. “Otherwise, blatant anarchy will rule the day and our great city will descend into chaos.”

Gomez's arrest came hours before Ulises Bohórquez, 21, became the eighth migrant prosecuted for the Times Square attack and was held on $100,000 cash bail or $250,000 bond.

In addition to the four mentioned above, also charged with assault on a police officer and obstruction of government administration in the Jan. 27 attack are Yorman Reverón, 24; Yohenry Brito, also 24; Jhoan Boada, 22; and Yarwuin Madris, 17 years old.

The NYPD has warned about the Tren de Aragua gang, which is supposedly taking its members to New York taking advantage of the migratory rush at the southern border.

ADN has reported that other metropolitan police departments such as the Chicago Police Department have also sent out interoffice memos to its officers warning about the growing presence of Tren de Aragua, and that they are embedding themselves among peaceful migrants who are seeking asylum.

Since October 2023, the Tren de Aragua’s presence has risen in the Chicago area, according to a report filed by Telemundo Chicago, which says the Cook County Sheriff’s Office informed its force through emails that the gang’s had operatives in the metropolitan area.

In November, the Chicago Police Department also issued warnings that the Tren de Aragua was blending its members in the recent arrival of 20,000 migrants who came to the area.

The criminal mega-gang, which is headquartered out of the Tocorón prison in Venezuela, has some 2,700 members, including hitmen. It has already managed to launch transnational criminal operations in Colombia, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Panama, with a significant increase in its activities abroad during 2020.

In a 2022 interview with Venezuelan lieutenant and political exile José Antonio Colina Pulido, the former military officer told ADN that he was alerting U.S. authorities through his online show and social media accounts about the Maduro plan to dispatch criminals to the U.S.

“There are groups that come established, and when they are sent to states like Washington or New York they are re-grouping as a structure or a cell with a certain order, so this is not something that comes spontaneously or from people who found [another] in the jungle and decided to agree,” said the lieutenant who organized against Hugo Chavez in 2002 and has had a Venezuelan warrant for his arrest since February 2003.

Related Story: FBI: Venezuelan Tren de Aragua and Salvadoran MS-13 Gangs Could Form Dangerous Alliance in U.S.

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