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IIMPACT Detectives shut down major "Bajadore" rip crew

IIMPACT Detectives shut down major "Bajadore" rip crew

Thursday, February 17, 2011 -

Following a-month long investigation, the Illegal Immigration Prevention Apprehension Co-op Team (IIMPACT) charged four Mexican nationals believed to be operating as a so-called “rip crew”. IIMPACT includes detectives from DPS, Phoenix Police and ICE.

Two additional suspects were taken into custody for other charges. These “Bajadores” abducted several undocumented immigrants in the desert near the Vekol Valley last month. The suspects threatened to shoot the victims if they did not follow instructions. The victims were forced into a van and transported to Phoenix. The suspects used a phone belonging to a victim to call the family members of those abducted to extort money for their release. The victims told IIMPACT detectives they were struck, and subsequently threatened with death if their families did not pay.

Two of the four “Bajadore” suspects were arrested previously. Surveillance was conducted on a house located at 1142 E. Garfield in Phoenix. Detectives were able to take the third “Bajadore” suspect into custody as he walked to a convenience store. He identified two other suspects who were at the residence. When detectives approached the house, one suspect was apprehended. The other suspect was arrested after a short foot pursuit.

A search warrant was served in the residence. In the attic, detectives recovered nine bales of marijuana weighing 160 Pounds. In addition, a .38 revolver, .38 semi-automatic, ledgers, and numerous cell phones were seized. After interviews, the fourth “Bajadore” suspect was identified as a subject who was previously arrested by Phoenix P.D. and is currently in custody.

I applaud our brave men and women of state law enforcement for their work in apprehending these dangerous individuals. Our nation’s porous southern border has enabled criminal enterprises such as this to operate in our neighborhoods and communities. As this case demonstrates, these operations are a danger to all Arizonans – including the human cargo being trafficked across our border,” Governor Jan Brewer.

These ‘Bajadores’ or rip crews need to be eradicated. Not only do they seek to profit from illegal immigration, they frequently use violence to achieve their goals. These arrests will help send the message to other rip crews that we are monitoring their activity and will remove them from the streets no matter how long it takes,” said Robert Halliday, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

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