Three illegal immigrants caught and released at the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as a fourth person, a U.S. citizen previously released on cashless bail, have been charged in New York’s Long Island for carrying out a hate-fueled robbery ring allegedly targeting members of the Indian community.
Brayan Alexis Ortiz-Ramos, 20, Daniel Esteban Jimenez-Carrillo, 30, Gersson Jhoan Hernandez-Gomez, 33, all born and raised in Columbia, as well as Justin Mora-Soto, 20, who was born in the U.S. but went to live in Columbia at age 2, are all charged with second-degree burglary as a hate crime and conspiracy.
The four suspects, accused members of a South American theft group, are believed to be connected to between 20 and 30 home burglaries in Hicksville, Bethpage, Levittown and New Hyde Park, Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.
According to pattern, they allegedly followed unexpecting victims’ homes from grocery and jewelry stores and nail salons around Hicksville, logging the addresses and later returning to conduct countersurveillance to meticulously plan how to case the residences. In one burglary, an AK-47 with ammo was stolen and stashed in the woods.
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“That gun that they stole, they wrapped it in a plastic bag and placed it with the bullets across the street from the house – that any child or any kid could have picked that gun up and shot somebody with it,” Ryder said. “The recklessness of this group, besides the damage they did to the communities hear in Nassau County targeting our Indian community out of Hicksville, we’re hoping that they’re going for arraignment today, and we’re hoping that they’re going to be held. The DA’s office is going to be asking for bail, and we notified immigration.”
Over the past several months, Ortiz-Ramos, Jimenez-Carrillo and Hernandez-Gomez were apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona, California and Texas, respectively, and later released from custody.
They were assigned to removal proceedings but only Ortiz-Ramos had been scheduled to return for an immigration court date on July 6, 2023. The others’ cases remained pending.
Meanwhile, Mora-Soto, a U.S. citizen who has a wife and child back in Columbia, returned to the U.S. several months ago and was facing a pending arrest warrant out of New York City.
On Sept. 15, he was charged with second-degree menacing and criminal possession of a weapon, was released on his own recognizance, and did not return for his court date as scheduled, Ryder said.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman called out the Biden administration and New York state officials.
“Local law enforcement did their job. The federal government, their law enforcement did their job. And what we have here is a complete failure of leadership in Washington. These individuals should never have been allowed to make their way into the United States,” Blakeman, a Republican, said. “They were caught at the border, and rather than be detained, they were let go so that they could wreak havoc on communities across the United States. And as we’re seeing now with these undocumented aliens that are here in the country illegally, there is now a crime wave across America. This is no longer a Texas problem. This is no longer a California problem. This is no longer an Arizona problem. This is an American problem.”
“We want to let everyone know that in Nassau County, that will not be tolerated. We will track you down, we will bring you to justice,” Blakeman added. “But unless our elected officials in Washington get the message and understand that this open border policy is a disaster unless our state officials understand that the cashless bail laws are a disaster, our communities are going to be less safe. Criminals are going to have more rights than victims, and that’s a disgrace, it’s a failure of leadership on all levels.”
On Oct. 10, members of the Nassau’s special operations and burglary pattern team were conducting surveillance in the backstreets of New Hyde Park when they observed the suspects attempt another burglary. One arrived in a black SUV and posted at a corner to serve as the lookout, while the others, wearing yellow traffic vests to pose as construction workers, rang a doorbell and assumed no one was home. They went around back and attempted to pry open the door, breaking glass and waking a woman inside, whose screams sent the suspects running.
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Three jumped into the SUV, which was pulled over by police. The fourth lookout was nabbed on foot, Ryder said.
All four suspects should be considered flight risks, Ryder said.