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Border patrol: MS-13 gang member arrested again after 5 removals from US

MS-13 tattoo (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/WikiCommons)

An MS-13 gang member was arrested last week in Toledo, federal authorities say.

Juan Carlos Alvarez-Robles, 38, of Mexico was arrested Jan. 23 when U.S. Border Patrol agents from Detroit and Ohio executed a federal arrest warrant, according to a release Tuesday from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The agents were working with the Toledo Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force.

Alvarez-Robles has been removed from the country five times and was in the U.S. illegally again, officials say.

Officials say he is suspected of “numerous nefarious activities” in the Great Lakes region and has a history of drug possession, transporting/selling narcotics, grand theft auto and multiple counts of theft and burglary.

A Toledo police officer stopped Alvarez-Robles in November 2019, after seeing him standing in front of a closed business, according to a complaint filed in federal court.

Alvarez-Robles said his girlfriend left him there after a fight and he gave a false name to the officer, according to the complaint. Asked about his tattoos, Alvarez-Robles said he was a “Vato Loco” in his youth.

“Vato Loco may refer to an abbreviated version of Varrio Locates 13 Watts, an affiliate or component of Mara Salvatrucha, an international criminal organization commonly known as MS-13,” according to the complaint.

Alvarez-Robles was arrested in December by Ohio authorities for falsification.

A previous time, he was found using a Social Security number used by about 14 other people, according to the complaint.

He now is accused of illegal reentry and false personation of a U.S. citizen.

Acting Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Alan Booth called Alvarez-Robles a “hardened criminal” in the release.

“I applaud all of the law enforcement professionals that worked on this case, resulting in making the city of Toledo a safer place,” he said.


© 2020 the Detroit Free Press