MS-13 gang member posing as Guatemalan migrant is captured in Texas

Border Crime

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A known member of the violent MS-13 gang has been arrested in Texas, despite efforts to pass himself off as a Guatemalan migrant.

Irving Aldemar Diaz-Flores was among a group of 16 suspected unauthorized migrants apprehended on Thursday by U.S. Border Patrol agents and Brewster County deputies south of Alpine, Texas, authorities said.

The Border Patrol had been tracking the group through rough terrain for eight hours prior to making the arrests. During processing, one of them gave agents a false name and claimed Guatemalan nationality.

Irving Aldemar Diaz-Flores
(photo courtesy U.S. Border Patrol)

Further investigation identified the individual as a national of El Salvador and known member of the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13 gang, the Border Patrol said in a statement. Diaz-Flores now faces charges of illegal entry. The other migrants will be processed according to applicable immigration laws, the Border Patrol said.

“Despite this suspect’s attempts to conceal both his identity and nationality, our agents were able to identify him and his affiliation with a dangerous international gang,” said Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak. “This case is another example of how the vigilance of Border Patrol agents contributes to safer communities at and away from the border.”

In Fiscal Year 2019, which ended on Sept. 30, Border Patrol agents arrested 976 gang members sneaking into the United States without authorization, smuggling others into the country or being smuggled themselves, the agency said. Most of them (464 were MS-13 members, with 18th Street Gang coming in second at 168.

Alpine is part of the Border Patrol’s Big Bend Sector, which includes 157 miles of border with Mexico and thousands of square miles between Sierra Blanca and Sanderson, Texas.

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