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PRESS RELEASES

IIMPACT Conducts Operation "Take it to the Bank"

Six of the suspects arrested face numerous state-felony charges

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 -

On November 10, 2010, IIMPACT Investigators from the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), Phoenix Police Department and ICE, along with assistance from the Goodyear Police Department, served search warrants at four locations in the West Valley of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. The warrants were tied to information developed by IIMPACT reference a human smuggling ring operating in the Phoenix area.

A total of 10 suspects were initially detained during the execution of the early-morning search warrants. Of the 10 detained, six men, who are believed to be illegal immigrants, face serious felony charges including human smuggling, operating a criminal syndicate, fraud and fraudulent schemes and identity theft. One adult male is being turned over to ICE officials without state charges. Another adult male, two adult females, along three small children belonging to one of the women were detained and later released without criminal charges at this time.

A total of 62 vehicles were seized during the operation. Investigators with IIMPACT believe Mark A. Rodriquez-Banks, who is also known as, Ricardo Morales-Mejia, 29, of Mexico, organized and provided vehicles to be used by human smuggling rings. Goodyear Police first discovered suspicious vehicles and activity surrounding a U-haul storage facility. They then contacted IIMPACT, ultimately prompting the team to begin its six month investigation.

IIMPACT investigators believe this same operation provided a vehicle involved in a fatal crash along State Route 82 near Sonoita in June of 2009. Eleven undocumented aliens were killed in that crash. At the time, the driver of the vehicle was attempting to evade the U.S. Border Patrol.

The six men arrested face multiple felony charges including human smuggling, operating a criminal syndicate, fraud and fraudulent schemes and identity theft.

Search warrants were served today at the following locations:

6740 W. Peck

Glendale, Ariz.

10 vehicles seized.

One adult male arrested:

Omar Vasquez-Mejia, 29, of Mexico. (11/25/1980)

7509 W. Montecito

Phoenix, Ariz.

Five vehicles seized.

Two adult males (including main suspect Banks) arrested.

Marco Rodriguez-Banks, also known as, Ricardo Morales-Mejia 29, of Mexico.(11/08/1981)

Leonardo Alfonso Queza-Bernari, 21, of Mexico. (04/23/1989)

Two adult females and three small children were detained and later released.

Ana Mejia-Veneroso, unknown age, of Mexico, is believed to be here illegally. She is also the mother of the three small children. Her information and case is being referred to ICE officials

1822 N. 74th Lane

Phoenix, Ariz.

This location is believed to be a manufacturing site for various types of fraudulent identification.

Four vehicles seized

Four adult males arrested (the top three are brothers)

Alejandro Miron-Reyes, 38, of Mexico. (08/27/1972)

Gilberto Miron-Reyes, 35, of Mexico. (02/04/1975)

Julio C. Miron-Reyes, 31, of Mexico (04/17/1979), will not be booked but turned over to ICE officials.

Victor Hugo Reyes-Veneroso, 22, of Mexico. (04/07/1988)

18211 W. McDowell Road

Goodyear, Ariz. (U-Haul yard)

43 vehicles seized, some of which were located in 20 Connex-type shipping containers.

- End -

IIMPACT (Illegal Immigration Prevention & Apprehension Co-op Team) is a multi-agency project managed by GIITEM of the Arizona Department of Public Safety that is designed to “deter, disrupt and dismantle violent criminal organizations profiting from human smuggling.” In most IIMPACT cases, crimes of kidnapping, extortion, assault and human smuggling are prevalent. IIMPACT is comprised of investigators from the Phoenix Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS).

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