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Five Chilean nationals accused of burglarizing a Baltimore County, Maryland residence last month and being linked to crimes in other states, were all in the country illegally, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

On Feb 3, 2024, the Baltimore County Police Department arrested 20-year-old Gabriel Matamala-Ponce; 21-year-old Thomas Crisosto-Araya; 22-year-old Jorge Gatica-Vergara; 23-year-old Luis Oyanedel-Valenzuela; and 27-year-old Gabriel Miranda-Gonzalez and charged them with first-degree attempted burglary and various other burglary-related crimes.

Officers were called to the 2300 block of Tufton Springs Lane at about 6:45 p.m. that day for a burglary in progress, and quickly located the suspects fleeing from the scene in a vehicle, before stopping them and taking them into custody.

A follow-up investigation discovered the five suspects were possibly connected to four other burglaries in the county, as well as crimes in North Carolina, Alabama and Oklahoma. They were also allegedly part of a theft ring out of South America.

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ICE told Fox News Digital that Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Baltimore had lodged immigration detainers against all five individuals.

“ERO Baltimore is closely tracking the five individuals that Baltimore County Police arrested Feb. 3 for burglary charges,” ERO Baltimore Spokesperson James Covington said. “All five of the individuals are Chilean nationals.”

ICE said Crisosto-Araya, Gatica-Vergara, Miranda-Gonzalez, and Oyanedel-Valenzuela all entered the country lawfully as non-immigrants but did not depart according to the terms of their admittance.

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ICE agents immigration

The fifth individual, Matamala-Ponce, entered the U.S. illegally without admission by a U.S. immigration official, ICE said.

All five are also connected to crimes in other states.

The Orange County, North Carolina sheriff’s office issued arrest warrants for Crisosto-Araya, Gatica-Vergara, Oyanedel-Valenzuela and Matamala-Ponce on Feb. 28, 2024 for burglary-forced entry of a residence.

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Miranda-Gonzalez was arrested by the Orange County, Florida sheriff’s office on Feb. 22, 2022 and charged with petty retail theft and paid a fine for the crime on April 22, 2022.

All five are being held in Baltimore County on an immigration detainer.

The detainers are lodged against non-citizens who have been arrested for criminal activity.

Under the detainer, ICE asks local and state law enforcement agencies to notify them as early as possible before releasing a non-citizen from custody.

The detainers place a hold on the release of the non-citizens for no more than 48 hours beyond the time they would otherwise be released, which allows ERO to assume custody for removal purposes.

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