Migrants Targeted By Robbers Impersonating ICE Agents

(StraightNews.org) – California law enforcement officers have arrested two men for disguising themselves as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to rob immigrants. Anaheim police said they detained Laurentiu Baceanu and Vasile Alexandru and charged them with robbery after they allegedly introduced themselves to migrants as federal agents and ordered them to hand over their valuables. Prosecutors said the alleged robbers spoke Spanish to the migrants and flashed fake ICE ID badges at them.

Detectives said the two 19-year-olds are suspected of committing two robberies within an hour in Southern California and several others across the state. The suspects are held without bond.

Anaheim police Sgt. Jon McClintock said, “No police officer would ever approach anybody and demand any type of money.” He added that he knows of at least five similar incidents in Anaheim and others in Santa Ana and Orange County.

One witness, who robbers approached, told police that they told him they were immigration agents and speedily flashed a badge. He noted they were well-dressed and looked like law enforcement agents. Pablo Ramirez said he almost fell for the rouse, but a gut feeling told him something was wrong, and he threatened to report the men to the police, prompting them to flee the scene in a gray SUV.

The arrests come weeks after Los Angeles authorities detained a 47-year-old woman for posing as an ICE agent and telling migrants she would secure legal residency for them in exchange for cash. Fourteen victims reportedly paid between $4,000 and $8,000 to Araceli Martinez before police arrested her at LAX minutes before she was due to fly to Mexico.

Prosecutors charged Martinez with theft by false pretenses, and she was held at the Century Regional Detention Facility on a $335,000 bond.

In a similar case, Brazilian Kimberly Cruz was jailed for 14 years for posing as an immigration lawyer and bringing migrants across the border. She made $275,000 through the fraudulent scheme.

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