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Venezuelan Gang Member Arrested In New York City

NYCHA employees arrested for bribery and extortion in New York

A suspected member of a Venezuelan gang, Yerbin Benjamin Lozada Munoz, was recently arrested in New York City after being found squatting in a home filled with drugs and firearms. Munoz, who admitted to serving prison time in Venezuela, was taken into custody again this week by federal immigration authorities.

He was arrested during a traffic stop in Nassau County, which honored an immigration detainer request made by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE). Unlike New York City, Nassau County is not a sanctuary jurisdiction, allowing local law enforcement to cooperate with immigration authorities.

Munoz confessed to being a member of the notorious Tren de Aragua gang, known for its involvement in various crimes. He disclosed that he had been convicted of robbery and resisting arrest in Venezuela, serving 14 months in prison.

Initially arrested on March 27 along with other Venezuelans squatting in a Bronx home with drugs and guns, Munoz faces multiple charges, including possession of weapons, drugs, and ammunition. Despite being released pending trial, he was arrested again by Nassau County police on charges of grand larceny greater than $1,000.

Another suspect, Hector De Sousa Villalta, faces charges and is also accused of attempted murder in a separate incident in Yonkers, New York. Munoz illegally entered the U.S. around October 3, 2022, and was arrested near Eagle Pass, Texas. Due to overcrowding at an ICE detention facility, he was released on parole but failed to report to the nearest ICE office within 60 days, violating his parole conditions.

Following his arrest by Nassau County police, ICE lodged a detainer request, leading to Munoz's subsequent arrest upon release from jail. Several other alleged squatters from the NYC home are in ICE custody awaiting deportation proceedings, while others remain in custody in New York City with immigration detainers lodged in their cases.

Johan Jose Cardenas Silva, picked up by ICE, is held in Nassau County Jail under a detainer hold. The case highlights the collaboration between local and federal authorities in addressing criminal activities involving gang members and illegal immigrants.

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