An illegal alien and member of a transnational criminal organization first encountered in Del Rio, Texas, has been arrested on multiple weapons charges in New York City.

Venezuelan national Johan Jose Cardenas Silva is a member of the Tren de Aragua transnational criminal organization and is currently wanted by Peruvian authorities for conspiracy, assault, and aggravated theft. 

In March, Silva was one of eight illegal aliens arrested by the New York City Police Department and was charged with criminal possession of a weapon-second degree: loaded firearm, criminal possession weapon-second degree: loaded firearm on school grounds, criminal possession-controlled substance-5th: intent to sell, and act in manner to injure child less than 17.

He has now been detained in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s custody, pending removal proceedings. 

According to Enforcement and Removal Operations of New York City officials, Silva was first encountered by Border Patrol agents in Del Rio, Texas in October 2022. It was determined that he illegally entered the U.S. and was issued a notice and order of expedited removal. 

In January 2023, ERO of San Antonio served Silva a notice to appear and an immigration judge ordered him removed from the U.S.

Silva was then released from Stewart County Detention Center in Georgia in October 2023 on an order of supervision and an order to report to New York City. However, Silva never reported as directed.

He was then arrested by NYPD on March 27, 2024, for the crimes mentioned above. He was arraigned and released before an immigration detainer could be lodged. 

However, Silva was arrested once again on April 1 by the Nassau County Police Department and charged with the crime of grand larceny in the fourth degree. On the same day, ERO NYC lodged an immigration detainer against his release from the Nassau County Jail.

Upon his arrest, it was discovered that Silva was an international fugitive wanted by Peruvian authorities on an arrest warrant issued in October 2018.

“This international fugitive mistakenly thought he could waltz into the United States to not only evade justice in other countries but to continue his criminality with impunity,” said ERO NYC Field Office Director Kenneth Genalo. “His history of lawless behavior and membership in a violent international criminal organization clearly demonstrates that he is a serious threat to the public safety.”

Recently, Texas Scorecard reported that from Fiscal Year 2021 through 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded over 1.6 million known gotaways—a stark contrast from 1.4 million gotaways recorded over a 10-year period before Joe Biden became president. 

Additionally, since Biden took office, there have been over 7 million encounters by Border Patrol agents at the southwest border—as compared to under 2 million encounters during President Donald Trump’s Presidency.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.