TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Station Border Patrol agents arrested an MS-13 gang member from El Salvador shortly after he entered the United States illegally south of Arivaca early Wednesday.
Agents apprehended 57-year-old Noe Bernal-Portillo and transported him to the Tucson Station for processing. Agents conducted a records check and learned Bernal has numerous felony convictions, including a 1997 conviction for attempted murder in Las Vegas, Nevada. He will remain in federal custody pending prosecution for re-entry as an aggravated felon.
All persons apprehended by the Border Patrol undergo criminal history checks using biometrics to ensure illegal immigrants with criminal histories are positively identified.
Meanwhile, America’s Freedom Fighters reported that in Las Vegas,four alleged MS-13 gang members were charged Tuesday in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a rival gang member whose body was found on federal property in southern Nevada.
The case is the result of a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), FBI, and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, with assistance from DEA.
Josue Diaz-Orellana, 22, Luis Reyes-Castillo, a/k/a “Molesto,” 24, David Perez-Manchame, a/k/a “Herbi” and “Walter Melendez,” 19, and Miguel Torres-Escobar, 20, are charged with assault with intent to commit murder, kidnapping, and discharging a firearm during, and in relation to a crime of violence.
According to court documents, on January 21, 2018, Diaz-Orellana, Reyes-Castillo, Perez-Manchame, and Torres-Escobar, kidnapped and murdered Arquimidez Sandavol-Martinez. His body was discovered February 2 on federal property on East Lake Mead Boulevard, near mile marker 12, in rural Clark County, Nev. Examination of the crime scene indicated that Sandoval-Martinez had been bound and had made some effort to escape his captors before being shot and stabbed to death. Fired 9mm cartridge cases with “Blazer” and “FC” head-stamp markings on them were located within the crime scene.
During the course of the investigation, investigators learned that Sandoval-Martinez was last seen on January 21, at Club 2100, located at 2100 Fremont Street. Investigators obtained cell phone records that indicated Diaz-Orellana’s phone used cell towers near the club, heading eastbound along Lake Mead Boulevard – in the area where Sandavol-Martinez’s body was found. On March 2, law enforcement stopped Diaz-Orellana, who was in a vehicle with Reyes-Castillo, Perez-Manchame, and Torres-Escobar. A large butcher knife, a baseball hat with an apparent bloodstain on it, and three 9mm handguns were recovered in the vehicle.
Reyes-Castillo, Perez-Manchame, and Torres-Escobar are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach. A date for Diaz-Orellana has not yet been set. The defendants, all citizens of El Salvador, are in federal custody.
The maximum statutory penalty is 20 years of imprisonment for the assault charge and life imprisonment for both the kidnapping and the discharging of a firearm count.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free.