ARIZONA NEWS

3 suspects linked to South American organized crime groups indicted in Maricopa County

Feb 27, 2024, 5:24 PM

handcuffs seen in man's hands...

Three suspects connected with South American crime groups were indicted Tuesday in Maricopa County after allegedly attempting to break into a Phoenix home earlier this month. (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Three suspects connected with South American crime groups were indicted Tuesday in Maricopa County after allegedly attempting to break into a Phoenix home earlier this month, authorities said.

Sue Ellen Gutierrez Saez, 20, Johan Salvo Alacon, 21, and David Carlos Rojas Ferrada, 22, were indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit burglary and one count of attempt to commit burglary, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

All three suspects were also indicted on separate charges stemming from the incident that occurred Feb. 16 near 44th Street and Camelback Road.

Saez was indicted on one count of aggravated assault, one count of forgery and one count of taking the identity of another.

Alacon was indicted on one count of resisting arrest, one count of forgery and one count of taking the identity of another.

Ferrada was indicted on one count of forgery and one count of taking the identity of another.

All three suspects were using fraudulent identification and overstayed visas, according to authorities.

“This is a highly organized and coordinated group that has the means to continue these alleged crimes,” County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in the release.

How were the alleged members of the South American organized crime groups arrested in Phoenix?

Surveillance officers were already in the area near 44th Street and Camelback Road due to a recent burglary.

They spotted the suspects breaking into a home but attempted to leave soon after in a minivan, according to the Phoenix Police Department.

Officers blocked the minivan from leaving, but the driver rammed into police vehicles before the suspects fled into the neighborhood before they were eventually arrested, police said.

What is there to know about the South American crime groups?

Law enforcement agencies across metro Phoenix have been working together to combat a wave of thefts linked to the South American organized crime groups since December.

The crime wave, which has impacted Phoenix, Scottsdale and multiple other suburbs on both sides of the Valley, is part of a national trend, authorities believe.

The groups have targeted affluent neighborhoods.

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3 suspects linked to South American organized crime groups indicted in Maricopa County