YUMA, Ariz. – Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrested an MS-13 gang member from Mexico along with three U.S. citizens and five other illegal aliens attempting to travel to Los Angeles in two separate immigration stops Thursday.
In the first event early that morning, Blythe Station agents working near Wikieup performed an immigration stop on a Ford Fusion with five occupants as it was traveling along Highway 93. Agents identified one of the three illegal alien passengers as 28-year-old Manuel Lopez-Gomez, an MS-13 gang member from Mexico.
In the second event that afternoon, Wellton Station agents performed an immigration stop on a Chevrolet Tahoe near Wellton. Agents identified two previously deported illegal aliens from Mexico and two United States citizens in the vehicle. The illegal aliens stated they were attempting to travel to Los Angeles to work and reside.Also in the vehicle, the agents identified a second illegal alien as Andres Abel Garcia, a 49-year-old Mexican national, as having a felony conviction for Driving under the Influence and Causing Bodily Injury, and Driving under the Influence (DUI) within 10 years of Previous Felony DUI. The driver, a 27-year-old U.S. citizen from Phoenix, was arrested along with his 24-year-old Mexican national girlfriend for harboring certain aliens. The illegal aliens stated they were attempting to travel to Los Angeles to work and reside.
MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, is closely associated with the Sureños gang and both are tied to the Mexican Mafia. MS-13 has a heavy presence in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas of California and is known for their tactics of using rape and murder to intimidate entire communities.