Bexar County to investigate transport of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Bexar County sheriff Javier Salazar said his office is investigating how 48 Venezuelan migrants ended up going from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard.

Salazar said a Venezuelan migrant was paid a “birddog fee” by someone out of state to recruit migrants from the area of a migrant resource center on San Pedro last Wednesday.

“I believe there is some criminal activity was involved,” Salazar said at a news conference late Monday afternoon.

The sheriff said 48 Venezuelan migrants, who he said were here in the country legally, were “lured under false pretenses” to stay at a hotel for a few days, then flown to Florida and then flown again to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

“They were promised work.  They were promised the solution to several of their problems,” the sheriff stated, “For little more than a photo op — a video op — and then they were unceremoniously stranded in Martha’s Vineyard.”

Salazar said he has been in communication with people he said not in elected positions including a Boston lawyer who is representing some of the migrants who ended up in Massachusetts.

The sheriff was asked by a reporter if his own political affiliation, as a Democrat, had an influence in his decision to investigation.  He said if a Democrat did the same thing, he would be doing the same investigation.

Salazar did not name any suspects in the case, but noted, “I think everybody on this call [in the news conference] knows who those names are already, so I won’t be naming any of them.”

He said if the allegations are true, the suspect or suspects could face a variety of state and federal charges.

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