Mon. Apr 15th, 2024
alert-–-wife-of-venezuelan-migrant-influencer-who-made-tiktoks-encouraging-people-to-invade-us-and-squat-in-houses-complains-she-can’t-see-him-after-he-was-arrested-and-thrown-in-jailAlert – Wife of Venezuelan migrant influencer who made TikToks encouraging people to invade US and squat in houses complains she can’t see him after he was arrested and thrown in jail

The wife of Venezuelan migrant TikTok star Leonel Moreno is said to be distraught after being barred from visiting her husband in federal prison. 

The 27-year-old Moreno was picked up in Columbus, Ohio, and is now in federal custody having been hunted by ICE since he crossed the border illegally at Eagle Pass, Texas in April 2022.

Veronica Torres is now complaining she doesn’t even know where her husband has been taken, and was seen in tears outside an airport hotel in Gahanna, a suburb of Columbus. 

‘We don’t know where they took him and I can’t see him,’ she told The New York Post. ‘I can’t give you any more information because I don’t know much.’ 

ICE records show Moreno is being held at Geauga County Jail in Ohio – about 165 miles northeast of Columbus.

Veronica Torres, right, the wife of TikTok Venezuelan migrant Leonel Moreno, left, claims she has no idea where her husband is after he was arrested and thrown in jail earlier this week

Veronica Torres, right, the wife of TikTok Venezuelan migrant Leonel Moreno, left, claims she has no idea where her husband is after he was arrested and thrown in jail earlier this week

Moreno is being held in federal prison in Columbus, Ohio with his arrest coming after failing to attend a court in Miami after crossing the border in 2022

Moreno is being held in federal prison in Columbus, Ohio with his arrest coming after failing to attend a court in Miami after crossing the border in 2022 

Veronica Torres, right, is now complaining she doesn't even know where her husband has been taken, after she was seen in tears outside an airport hotel in Gahanna, a suburb of Columbus

Veronica Torres, right, is now complaining she doesn’t even know where her husband has been taken, after she was seen in tears outside an airport hotel in Gahanna, a suburb of Columbus

ICE records show Moreno is being held at Geauga County Jail in Ohio - about 165 miles northeast of Columbus

ICE records show Moreno is being held at Geauga County Jail in Ohio – about 165 miles northeast of Columbus

Moreno was released as part of the Alternatives to Detention Program, which lets migrants on parole go free while officials track them until their next court date. 

He was due in court in Miami in November 2022, but never showed up. 

‘Moreno was told to report to Enforcement and Removal Operations office within 60 days of arriving at his destination but he did not report as required. On March 29, 2024, Moreno was arrested in Gahanna, Ohio by officers with ERO Detroit’s Columbus office and is currently detained pending further immigration proceedings,’ an ICE spokesperson explained. 

‘ICE agents will come get him if he needs to be moved and take him wherever he needs to be taken,’ Geauga County Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand told The Post.

Moreno appeared to have been long goading law enforcement as the fugitive shared tips on how to break into vacant homes and invoke squatters rights before boasting about how he lived off handouts from the US government on his TikTok account. 

Leonel Moreno and his wife Veronica Torres are seen in many of his Instagram videos

Leonel Moreno and his wife Veronica Torres are seen in many of his Instagram videos

Leonel Moreno had amassed half a million followers on TikTok with inflammatory videos where he takes the persona of a stereotypical freeloading immigrant. His account is now suspended

Leonel Moreno had amassed half a million followers on TikTok with inflammatory videos where he takes the persona of a stereotypical freeloading immigrant. His account is now suspended

Aside from his ill-advised advice on squatting in people's homes, the family appeared close

Aside from his ill-advised advice on squatting in people’s homes, the family appeared close

He had managed to accrue more than half a million followers before the account was finally suspended. 

Moreno was particularly vocal and was something of an embarrassment for authorities who appeared to have lost track of him. 

But he ended up posting so many videos it only served to provide ICE with plenty of clues as to his whereabouts.

In several of his videos he would often show off wads of cash that he claimed were as a result of government handouts and him begging for cash.

‘I didn’t cross the Rio Grande to work like a slave,’ Moreno said in one Instagram clip. ‘I came to the US to mark my territory.’

‘You’re hurt because I make more than you without much work while you work like slaves, understand?’

On Tuesday, he posted a series of bizarre videos of him sobbing from a new account claiming to be the victim of persecution.

‘I am in danger of death in the US! I need protection! I am being persecuted! My account has been blocked!’ he said as liquid dropped from his nose.

Leonel Moreno and wife Veronica Torres are seen in some of his Facebook photos

Leonel Moreno and wife Veronica Torres are seen in some of his Facebook photos

It had appeared Moreno had no plans to stop his particular brand of content, as he shared a clip on Wednesday counting hundred dollar bills

It had appeared Moreno had no plans to stop his particular brand of content, as he shared a clip on Wednesday counting hundred dollar bills

Some of his other videos show him claiming he is begging for money on the streets with his baby daughter

Some of his other videos show him claiming he is begging for money on the streets with his baby daughter

Leonel Moreno, 27, belts out Spanish lyrics and waves a wad of $100 bills at the camera

Leonel Moreno, 27, belts out Spanish lyrics and waves a wad of $100 bills at the camera 

The family of three are featured in dozens of videos posted to Instagram

The family of three are featured in dozens of videos posted to Instagram

‘My people, I need you to pay attention to what’s happening because my family is on danger. They erased my TikTok accounts. I have received threats from powerful people. Help!’

In another video he added: ‘My people, they have gotten what they wanted! The envy has reached my family! Everything that’s happening is because of your evilness!

‘They want to silence me!’

In a clip shared on Wednesday he could be seen counting hundred dollar bills boasting how he doesn’t need to work to make money. 

In one of his now-viral videos, Moreno instructed his followers how to ‘invade’ American homes and invoke squatter’s rights, claiming that under US law, ‘if a house is not inhabited, we can seize it.’

TikTok told DailyMail.com it has now suspended Moreno’s original account as it does not allow users to promote criminal content. 

Moreno also made headlines in February, after he demanded Venezuelans unite to help a 15-year-old migrant accused of shooting a tourist and trying to kill a NYPD officer in Times Square.

The fugitive travelled to the US with his wife and young daughter, who frequently features in his clips.

The family have reportedly been given $350 a week from the federal government. 

The videos have been widely shared as Venezuelan migrants fleeing their country’s collapse become one of the largest nationalities arriving at the US-Mexico border.

But many Venezuelans have taken to social media to denounce Moreno, accusing him of exploiting their situation to become an influencer while sparking hatred against migrants who plan on working for a better life in the US.

Venezuelans represent the largest displacement crisis in the world, with more than 7.7million people outside their nation – even larger than Ukrainians and Syrians.

It’s a rare case of massive migration from a country that is not at war but has seen one of the most extreme fortune reversals in recent history after the socialist takeover 20 years ago.

Venezuela has suffered political, economic and humanitarian crises over the past decade making food and other necessities unaffordable for those who remain. 

The vast majority who fled settled in neighboring countries in Latin America, but many began coming to the United States in the last three years.

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