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The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office says it completed its investigation into the transportation of 49 migrants from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard last September by the administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and filed criminal charges with the district attorney. local.
A statement from the sheriff’s office says he has filed several charges of unlawful restraint, both misdemeanors and felonies. The sheriff’s office did not name any individual suspects and did not specify when the investigation was turned over to the Bexar County district attorney.
“Right now, the case is being reviewed by the prosecutor’s office. Once an update is available, it will be provided to the public,” the statement said.
In a separate statement from the sheriff’s office, spokesman Johnny Garcia said the case was turned over to the prosecutor’s office “recently,” adding, “At this time we are not naming the suspects involved in the case.”
The Bexar County district attorney did not respond to an email from The Texas Tribune seeking comment.
According to a lawsuit filed by a law firm representing some of the migrants, Perla Huerta, a former combat medic and US Army counterintelligence agent, gave out $10 McDonald’s gift cards to about 50 migrants in San Antonio last year in exchange for a signed consent. form to board a flight to Massachusetts. Inside the chartered plane, the migrants, many of whom were Venezuelans, were given a brochure listing organizations that provide social services that the migrants were unable to access, according to the lawsuit.
The next day, at a press conference, DeSantis claimed credit for sending the planes from Texas to Massachusetts. He has said it was part of the state’s program to relocate migrants to a “sanctuary destination.” The Florida Legislature set aside $12 million for the effort, and DeSantis has spent more than $1.5 million so far on the flights, according to state records.
DeSantis’ office did not respond to an email from the Tribune seeking comment.
Meanwhile, the California attorney general on Monday accused the DeSantis administration of recruiting South American immigrants in El Paso to bring them to Sacramento.
According to the Sacramento Bee, 16 migrants from Venezuela and Colombia flew from El Paso to Sacramento on Friday and were then dropped off in front of the offices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento. On Monday, the same plane transported 20 migrants from El Paso to Deming, NM, and then to Sacramento, according to the newspaper and FlightAware flight tracking website.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement Saturday that his office has opened an investigation into who brought the migrants to California and why. No one has taken credit for the migrant flights leaving El Paso.
“We are also evaluating possible criminal or civil actions against those who transported or arranged for the transport of these vulnerable immigrants,” he said. “While this is still under investigation, we can confirm that these individuals were in possession of documentation purporting to be from the Florida state government. As we continue to collect evidence, I want to say this very clearly: State-sanctioned kidnapping is not a public policy option, it is immoral and disgusting.”
On Monday, Bonta’s office said the same contractor brought both groups of immigrants to Sacramento, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Special agents from the California Department of Justice are on the ground and have made contact with these individuals,” the office said in a statement Monday. “As was the case with the migrants who arrived on Friday, the migrants who arrived today were carrying documents indicating that their transportation to California involved the state of Florida.”
In a tweet on mondayCalifornia Gov. Gavin Newsom called DeSantis a “pathetic little man. This is not Martha’s Vineyard. He included a link to his state’s penal code on kidnapping.
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