Over a four-day period, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office carried out targeted raids throughout the Asheville area, which resulted in the arrest of 26 violent gang members, several of whom are illegal aliens.
In addition to immigration violations, many of those arrested, were charged with crimes ranging from violent assaults to drug trafficking. ICE agents also seized marijuana and cocaine from multiple locations.
ICE apprehended illegal aliens from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The gangs involved were Surenos, Bloods, M Zone Rydas and Sugar Loaf Clique 31.
Henderson County Sheriff Davis told reporters: “The location where most of the suspects were arrested was a well-known haven for active gang members. Gang recruiting and criminal activity for the entire region was in full view to anyone who attended this Asheville club. This joint operation with ICE, Henderson and Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office are precisely what this area needs to breakup and halt gang activity. We must continue to deny gangs any safe havens.”
The ICE website states: “Since inception in 2005 to date, ICE agents working in conjunction with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies nationwide have arrested 16,144 street gang members and associates. Of those arrested, 202 were gang leaders and 2,898 were MS-13 gang members or associates. 9,339 have been charged with immigration violations and processed for removal.”
In recent years, Asheville has become inundated with illegal aliens. Consequently, crime and gang activity has increased in the once quite town, nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina.
Last month, The Asheville Citizen Times reported that police had arrested illegal aliens Cruz Mario Carnacion, 37 and Jose Luis Trejo-Yanez for stealing railroad spikes from tracks owned by the Norfolk Southern Railroad. At the time of their arrest, the two had more than 500 stolen spikes in their possession. The removal of the spikes could have resulted in a serious train accident.
In August 2008, ICE agents arrested 57 illegal aliens working at Mills Manufacturing Corporation (MMC) in Asheville. All of those arrested were using erroneous Social Security numbers. MMC is a Defense contractor and manufactures parachutes for the U.S. military
In August 2006, illegal aliens Pablo Vasquez Osorio, 22, and Marcos Guerrero Fuentes, 23, were charged with first-degree rape and kidnapping of a 17-year-old Asheville girl at a Red Roof Inn.
Despite the aforementioned crimes directly attributed to illegal immigration, Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell recently set off a firestorm of controversy, when he appeared on a local radio show and expressed his desire to officially make Asheville a ‘sanctuary city,’ for illegal aliens.
Bothwell said: “I'd like to make it clear that this essentially endorses what is already Asheville city policy. This isn't actually anything particularly new. What I deem this to be is an educational effort, to let people in the community know they don't need to be afraid of the police.”