Internet InfoMedia illegal brother of laken riley murder suspect linked to venezuelan crime gang doj

Join Fox News for access to this content

Plus special access to select articles and other premium content with your account – free of charge.

Please enter a valid email address.

A Venezuelan migrant who allegedly handed police a fake green card as they were on the hunt for his brother, the suspected killer of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley, has ties to the violent Venezuela-based organized crime gang Tren de Aragua, according to federal prosecutors.

Federal authorities have been warning that the gang, also known as TdA and known for its violent turf wars as it expanded into other countries in South and Central America, is trying to establish itself in the U.S., where police are already linking it to organized crime.

Diego Ibarra is also accused of trying to bite a Border Patrol agent in Texas on April 30, 2023, the date of his second alleged illegal entry into the United States.

However, only the man he was traveling with was charged in the incident, Michael Morrison, an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, wrote in a filing in support of prosecutors’ motion to hold him without bail. 

FBI FEARS VENEZUELA MIGRANT GANG MEMBERS COULD POTENTIALLY TEAM UP WITH MS-13 KILLERS

Diego Ibarra fake ID card

Images taken from federal court filings include Diego Ibarra’s alleged fake green card as well as photos that prosecutors say are evidence of his suspected ties to the violent Tren de Aragua gang from Venezuela. (Middle District of Georgia)

Members of the gang were involved in a high-profile assault on NYPD officers that made national headlines after video circulated and suspects were released without bail.

The gang has a notable presence in New York City, Florida, Texas, Illinois and Georgia, federal prosecutors wrote in the court filing.

Read the filing:

LAKEN RILEY TRIED TO REACH 911 DURING DEADLY ENCOUNTER, ATHENS POLICE CONFIRM

Suspicious of his TdA-related tattoos, agents from Homeland Security Investigations found social media accounts where Ibarra flashed the gang’s hand signals.

DIEGO IBARRA tda hand sign

The hand sign shown here, with index finger, pinky and thumb extended and the other fingers closed in, is a gesture often used by the Tren de Aragua prison gang, according to federal prosecutors. (Middle District of Georgia)

He also posted pictures wearing Chicago Bulls team colors – which authorities said is another red flag.

“TdA members frequently wear Chicago Bulls basketball attire, even if they have no connection to Chicago or the Bulls,” prosecutors wrote.

As an illegal immigrant, Ibarra is not allowed to own guns in the U.S. However, according to prosecutors, the HSI agents found multiple pictures of him with different firearms.

GEORGIA STUDENT MURDER SUSPECT CONFIRMED TO BE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

DIEGO IBARRA ID

Diego Ibarras fake green card had two birth dates that didnt match up, prosecutors said. They have been redacted in the photo released in court documents. (Middle District of Georgia)

Ibarra has been in custody since late February, when police arrested him while searching for his brother. The two shared similar physical descriptions and Ibarra was wearing an identical hat to one seen on surveillance video in Riley’s murder, authorities said.

He allegedly handed them a fake green card.

Since then, additional details about his criminal behavior since entering the U.S. illegally have emerged.

BROTHER OF UGA MURDER SUSPECT CHARGED WITH GREEN CARD FRAUD

Laken Riley in a medical coat in a grassy field

Laken Riley poses for a photo posted to Facebook. Riley, a nursing student, was found dead near a lake on campus at the University of Georgia on Thursday, February 22, 2024. (Allyson Phillips/Facebook)

A month after his scuffle at the border, he allegedly cut off an ankle monitor that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement had placed on him.

Police found it in Colorado, but Diego made his way to Athens, Georgia, where he had multiple run-ins with the law before his brother allegedly killed Riley on a running trail at the University of Georgia. In Athens, Diego Ibarra racked up DUI charges, was accused of stealing his girlfriend’s phone and allegedly shoplifted from a local Walmart on two locations.

ICE CAPTURES 2 SUSPECTED VENEZUELAN GANG MEMBERS IN CONNECTION WITH NYPD ASSAULT

DIEGO IBARRA in bulls clothing

Federal prosecutors say Tren de Aragua members often wear Chicago Bulls clothing, even when they have no ties to Chicago and are not fans of the team. Investigators found this photo among multiple images of Diego Ibarra, a suspected member of the gang, wearing Chicago Bulls items. (Middle District of Georgia)

Ibarra’s brother, Jose Antonio Ibarra, is accused of brutally killing Riley during her morning run in what investigators have called a “crime of opportunity.”

He also entered the country illegally, in 2022, but was freed on border parole, which allowed him to travel to New York City and then Athens, according to authorities.

Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz faced protests at a news briefing last week regarding public safety in the city, which is about 70 miles east of Atlanta.

DIEGO IBARRA wearing Chicago Bulls hat and making hand gestures

Federal prosecutors say Tren de Aragua members often wear Chicago Bulls clothing, even when they have no ties to Chicago and are not fans of the team. Investigators found this photo among multiple images of Diego Ibarra, a suspected member of the gang, wearing Chicago Bulls items. He is also making what appears to be a TdA hand gesture. (Middle District of Georgia)

LAKEN RILEY CASE: HECKLERS SHOUT DOWN ATHENS MAYOR AS HE DENIES SANCTUARY CITY, ANNOUNCES PUBLIC SAFETY FUNDS

Hecklers called for his resignation when he denied Athens is a sanctuary city and shouted him down when he blamed a 2019 resolution supporting undocumented foreigners on then-President Trump.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

“While 2019 was not that long ago, you might remember the dynamic we were living in, in the late teens in this country where you had the president of the United States speaking in the most vile terms about people who were foreign born,” he said. “And you had that notion metastasizing in places like Charlottesville.”

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Curto and Jasmine Baehr contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *