JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) — A criminal gang linked to drug-related killings in a rural Juarez suburb is now being investigated for trafficking Central and South American migrants.
On Monday, Juarez police arrested a man only identified as “Adrian” on bribery charges, after he allegedly offered two officers $100 and 500 pesos ($27) for releasing an Ecuadorian migrant they found wandering on a street shirtless and disoriented. Adrian met the officers on a street in the San Isidro neighborhood of Juarez, near the Rio Grande, as they were questioning the Ecuadorian, police said.
The migrant told the officers he was being held in a home along with 12 other foreigners and that he went out to try to find a store and buy something to eat. “Adrian,” 22, who failed to persuade the officers to release the migrant, was arrested and later identified himself as a member of the “Mexicles” gang, the municipal police said in a statement. The whereabouts of the other migrants remain under investigation.
On Aug. 5, Juarez police had stopped a convoy of three SUV vehicles along the Casas Grandes Highway that had tried to speed away from a patrol car. The pursuing officer radioed for help and several police cars finally stopped the vehicles: a white Buick Enclave, a green Nissan Armada and a black Chevrolet Equinox. The suspects surrendered when cornered and Juarez police found three guns — a .45-caliber pistol and two 9mm semiautomatic guns — ammunition and four Central American migrants in the vehicles, police said in a statement. The occupants of the Nissan Armada, the lead vehicle, allegedly offered the officers $250 to let them go and identified themselves as members of the Mexicles gang.
Police took six men an a woman into custody. One of them, José Juan Z. C., also known as “El Seco” (The Dry One), has a prior arrest record for drug trafficking, kidnapping, attempted murder, robbery and corruption of minors, police said.