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‘Manufactured crisis’ update: Previously arrested illegal immigrant suspected of 4 murders in Nevada

(Photo: Carson City Sheriff’s Office)

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Nevada authorities have arrested an illegal immigrant they believe may be a suspect in four murders committed this month.

Carson City resident Wilbur Ernesto Martinez Guzman was taken into custody Saturday for immigration law violations as well as three counts of burglary and possession of stolen property, according to Fox News‘ William La Jeunesse.

The 19-year-old suspect was arrested following a police investigation and based on his illegally living in the U.S. for more than a year. But District Attorneys from Washoe County and Douglas County are hoping to file murder charges against Martinez Guzman as well based on unnamed evidence that was found after warrants for searches of his car and apartment.

“At this stage in the investigation, we feel confident we have the evidence that will link him to all four homicides,” Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam said at a press conference Sunday, according to The Nevada Independent.

Though no motive was yet released and police did not say what may have connected the suspect to the murders, the Federal Bureau of Investigation became involved last week due to the similarities in the killings. And, according to La Jeunesse, the fact that the suspect was in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement database indicates he had been arrested previously – even if only on the charge of illegally entering the country.

Earlier this month, two women, Connie Koontz, 56, and Sophia Renken, 74, who lived only miles apart in Gardnerville, a community in  Douglas County about 50 miles from Reno, were each killed inside their homes within days of each other, according to the Nevada Independent.

A few days later, Gerald David, 81, and Sharon David, 80, were also found dead in their home in Reno. All of the victims had been shot to death, according to KOLO-TV.

Martinez Guzman was placed under 24-hour surveillance when investigators reporting on his activities sparked increased “concerns for the welfare and the safety of the public,” Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong said.

As Nevada is not a so-called sanctuary state like neighboring California, a multi-agency initiative led to the arrest, with Sheriff’s Offices in Washoe and Douglas County and Carson City as well as Reno and Sparks Police and the FBI, getting involved.

The news comes amid an ongoing government shutdown precipitated by a refusal of congressional Democrats to approve over $5 billion in funding for a wall to be built along the southern U.S. border as requested by President Donald Trump.

Twitter users reacted to the arrest of Martinez Guzman as a potential suspect in the Nevada murders with anger and demands for lawmakers to act.

Frieda Powers

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