LOS ANGELES—U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested seven individuals, some of whom are associated with a cross-border narcotics smuggling organization based in Los Angeles on May 18.
The arrests were the result of targeted enforcement actions that were initiated from a criminal investigation of the organization. The arrests took place at multiple locations throughout Los Angeles. Agents arrested each of the seven individuals for immigration violations.
Among those who were arrested was Claudia Rueda-Vidal, 22, who is a female Mexican national illegally residing in the country in violation of the terms of her visa.
Rueda is the daughter of Teresa Vidal-Jaime and Hugo Rueda, who are also connected to the narcotics smuggling organization that was the subject of the investigation. Ms. Vidal-Jaime and Mr. Rueda were both arrested on April 24, pursuant to the discovery of 33 pounds of cocaine and $630,000 in illicit U.S. currency. Agents arrested Ms. Vidal-Jaime for an immigration violation and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrested Mr. Rueda for state narcotics charges.
“These targeted arrests should send a stern message to anyone linked to transnational smuggling,” said Roy D. Villareal, Deputy Chief Patrol Agent of the San Diego Sector. “Our agents will be relentless in their effort to put these organizations out of business.”
Also arrested during yesterday’s targeted enforcement effort were five male Mexican nationals and one female Guatemalan national.
To prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband, the U.S. Border Patrol maintains a high level of vigilance on corridors of egress away from our Nation’s borders. To report suspicious activity to the U.S. Border Patrol, contact San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9900.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.