Home of Lisa's Top Ten, the daily email that brings you the world.
The first task of the day

Sign Up for Lisa's Top Ten


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

A special agent from the FBI spoke about how the two gangs are rapidly expanding and creating a criminal empire in the North American country.

Venezuelan gang Tren de Aragua, which is reportedly exploiting the migratory surge at the southwest border, could form an alliance with the ultra-violent Salvadoran gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), according to one veteran FBI agent familiar with the history of the two criminal enterprises.

John Morales, a special agent in charge of the El Paso division in Texas, recently spoke to the New York Post about how the two gangs are rapidly expanding and creating a criminal empire in the United States.

Tren de Aragua, which also operates criminally in Colombia, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Panama, has used its methods in New York to establish a network of mobile phone thefts.

But after they empty bank accounts by committing fraudulent transactions in both the U.S. and South America. Subsequently, the phones are sent to Colombia to be reprogrammed and sold.

Now, amidst the growing violence in the United States, Morales warns that MS-13 and other dangerous gangs could form a temporary alliance.

“Although these gangs normally do not mix, it will always be a concern as the [Tren de Aragua] band grows stronger and establishes a foothold,” Morales explained. “At this moment, we are working with our local law enforcement partners and sharing intelligence to stop the growth of the Tren de Aragua.”

Members of these two criminal groups have been detected in U.S. cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Chicago, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Immigration officials say that criminals are illegally remaining in the U.S. after they are released from immigration detention centers, committing violent crimes, including murders.

Between October 2022 and September 2023, Border Patrol agents detained 41 members of the Tren de Aragua along the southern border, and now FBI agents are asking Venezuelan migrants to report gang members in exchange for witness protection and temporary visas.

The Venezuelan gang, based in Tocorón prison, Venezuela, was considered "the fastest-growing transnational criminal organization in the world" and is linked to several U.S. cities, especially Miami, where it is believed that a former Venezuelan police officer was murdered by one of its members.

“They are already presenting themselves as hardcore criminals," said Robert Almonte, security consultant and former U.S. Marshal in El Paso. “But the [Tren de Aragua] could certainly be trying to recruit others to join the gang in the United States.”

“I would not rule out the possibility that they may form alliances with other gangs, but it is most likely that territorial wars will erupt as each gang fights to control its own criminal enterprise,” he warned.

This Monday, New York expanded the curfew to additional migrant shelters following a series of violent incidents attributed to individuals residing in these centers.

At least 20 shelters for immigrants in New York City will be subject to a curfew from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., after initially imposing restrictions on four other locations. The measure will affect around 3,600 immigrants who temporarily reside in these shelters.

ADN recently reported that a 15-year old Venezuelan youth unleashed a shooting last Thursday night in Times Square that left a tourist wounded while placing NYPD officers in mortal danger.

The incident, which sparked an intense manhunt through the streets of New York, ended on Friday with the apprehension of the alleged assailant on the outskirts of the city in Yonkers.

Authorities identified the suspect as a resident of a shelter for immigrants in Manhattan, who arrived in the city from Venezuela at the end of the previous year.

In addition to his alleged involvement in this incident, the individual is implicated in an armed robbery in the Bronx and another shooting in Times Square the previous month.

Venezuelan officials say that the leader of the Tren de Aragua gang, Héctor Guerrero, alias El Niño Guerrero, escaped from prison in Venezuela after a military raid last year and could be hiding in the United States.

Venezuelan law enforcement agencies are currently offering a reward of $250,000 for any information leading to his whereabouts.

Read More

Related Posts