Illegal immigrants arrested as drug dealers

Published 4:41 pm Thursday, August 14, 2008

Two illegal immigrants were arrested on drug charges by Pearl River County deputies.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Capt. Donnie Saucier said those two suspects, will be detained until they face the charges against them. After they face the drug charges, the suspects will be sent back to their respective countries.

The first suspect, identified as Francisco Portillo, 32, of 201 Forrest St. Apt. 13, was arrested on Aug. 11, after investigators purchased about $50 of cocaine from him. The Guatemalan national asked for the purchase to take place at his home, Saucier said.

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After investigators met him at his home and the transaction took place, deputies and investigators moved in to arrest Portillo. Portillo admitted he was an illegal resident in the United States. Investigators contacted Immigration Customs Enforcement and a phone interview between an ICE representative and Portillo determined he is in fact an illegal immigrant, Saucier said.

Portillo is charged with sale of cocaine and also has an immigration hold against him.

That same day investigators took into custody another illegal immigrant and his fiancé. The alleged illegal immigrant was identified as Yasmany Osora Hernandez, 26, of 15 Bennett Apartment Rd., Nicholson. His fiancé, Tonia Ann Ryals, 32, of 144 Joe Flemming Rd., also was arrested.

Saucier said the case was built from confidential information provided to the department. Using the information, officers went to the home of Hernandez and were able to obtain consent to search the premises. They found cocaine, methadone, a .22-caliber rifle, 12-gauge shotgun, 9 millimeter handgun and about $4,632 in cash, Saucier said.

Hernandez is charged with possession of cocaine while in possession of a firearm and possession of methamphetamine while in possession of a firearm, Saucier said.

Ryals was charged with possession of cocaine while in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine while in possession of a firearm and as a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Another interview between Hernandez and an ICE representative determined that Hernandez is actually a citizen of Mexico.

Both illegal immigrants will be deported back to their respective countries once they face the criminal charges against them, Saucier said.

Saucier said any person found to be in Pearl River County or the country illegally will be referred to the proper authorities, and if they are committing felonies, they will be dealt with swiftly.