Migrant Gang Establishes Lucrative Scheme To Smuggle Illegal Immigrants

A notorious migrant gang in New Jersey is smuggling illegal immigrants into the U.S. through the Canadian border, charging $6,000 per individual, according to a recent report.

The New York Post reported that the human smuggling gang expanded its operations after its founders were detained and later released by American authorities.

The founders, who are immigrants from Guatemala and Colombia, illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and established a front in New Jersey to conduct their scheme while hiding from law enforcement.

As U.S. Border Patrol agents deal with ever-rising numbers of illegal immigrants at the southern border, the New Jersey-based gang has helped bring hordes of unlawful migrants into America from the northern border.

“With the huge asylum-seeker concentrations and with all of those people crossing the border and with the huge increase in the amount of enforcement that is going on on the southern border, it is probably, if you have an option, a lot easier to try to get in without inspection across the Canadian border,” a professor of immigration studies, Phillip Kasinitz, said.

In June 2023, an alleged driver for the smuggling gang, Elmer Bran-Galvez, was stopped by border agents in Franklin, Vermont. He had been transporting four illegal immigrants and told authorities he was paid approximately $1,800 per passenger.

In 2023, more than 10,000 unlawful migrants were caught trying to enter America through the northern border, marking a massive increase compared to 2022.

A couple of the gang’s ringleaders, Jhon Reina-Perez, 34, and Victor Lopez-Padilla, 35, have been arrested by authorities, but that hasn’t stopped the criminal organization’s smuggling operation.

Reina-Perez, born in Colombia, crossed the southern border into Texas in April 2022. After being apprehended by Border Patrol agents, the Colombian national was released pending “immigration proceedings” but failed to check in with authorities and was detained again in October 2022.

In June 2019, Lopez-Padilla, born in Guatemala, illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Arizona and was released for the same reason as Reina-Perez.

The Daily Mail reported that Lopez-Padilla could have ties to the notorious narcotrafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who is currently behind bars in Colorado.