A 29-year-old Venezuelan national who is a member of the Tren de Aragua gang was arrested in Chicago on March 11, after crossing illegally in Texas.

Adelvis Rodriguez-Carmona was originally arrested on Feb. 24 by the Cicero Police Department for being tied to a drive-by shooting in the Little Italy neighborhood, as well as “aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, no firearms identification card, driving without a license or insurance, and possession of adult-use cannabis in a motor vehicle.”

However, he was then released before being arrested again, this time by Chicago Enforcement and Removal Operations.

Tren de Aragua is a transnational criminal organization that began as a prison gang. Its criminal portfolio in Venezuela, according to InSight Crime, includes “extortion, kidnapping, human trafficking for sexual exploitation, migrant smuggling, contraband, illegal mining, retail drug trafficking, cybercrime, and theft.”

A statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports that Rodriguez-Carmona is currently awaiting immigration removal proceedings at the Dodge County Detention Facility in Juneau, Wisconsin.

U.S. Border Patrol first encountered Rodriguez-Carmona near Eagle Pass in July 2022, but he wasn’t issued a final order of removal until a year later.

According to Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin, although Rodriguez-Carmona has received a deportation order, Venezuela is not accepting deportation flights from the U.S. 

“An ICE source tells me since he can’t be deported due to Venezuela’s refusal to take their citizens back, he will likely stay in ICE detention for the foreseeable future,” Melugin concluded in his post on X.

In fiscal year 2023, ERO arrested more than 73,000 illegal aliens with criminal histories, including charges and convictions associated with sexual assault, homicide, and kidnapping. In total, the group had 290,178 associated charges and convictions, with an average of four per individual.

Chicago ERO Assistant Field Office Director Raymond Hernandez emphasized the importance of citizen safety in these cases.

“This Venezuelan noncitizen represented a significant threat to the residents of our communities,” said Hernandez. “Not only is he a validated member of a transnational street gang, but he also displayed a willingness to unlawfully discharge a firearm in public. ERO Chicago will continue to prioritize public safety by removing such threats from our streets.”

Amelia McKenzie

Amelia is a senior at Liberty University in Virginia. She is studying Digital Journalism and is currently a fellow with Texas Scorecard.