San Salvador, El Salvador - A 31-year-old Salvadoran man who posed as a human smuggler in order to collect thousands of U.S. dollars from would-be customers was arrested here December 9.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents from the HSI Assistant Attaché Office in El Salvador assisted police officers from the Salvadoran National Civil Police, who made the arrest.
Jose David Amaya Bonilla allegedly charged smuggling fees, equivalent to up to $9,000 in U.S. currency, to purportedly illegally smuggle individuals into the United States. He allegedly received payments from at least five Salvadoran nationals.
Amaya Bonilla is also facing separate charges for his involvement in human trafficking.
“We commend the Salvadoran National Civil Police for their commitment to identifying and arresting criminals like Amaya Bonilla,” said HSI El Salvador Attaché Alvin De La Rosa. “HSI will continue cooperating with local law enforcement to ensure that those preying on others are brought to justice.”
Through ICE's Office of International Operations and the U.S. Department of State, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has 67 attaché offices in 48 countries around the world. HSI special agents work closely with foreign law enforcement agencies and through a robust network of specialized, vetted units known as Transnational Criminal Investigative Units.