North Dakota Casino Visitor Turns Out To Be Felon From Mexico, Feds Reveal

A Mexican national who is in the US illegally led to suspicions at North Dakota’s Sky Dancer Casino and Resort. He had tried to collect $4,800 in winnings on January 1 but did not have the required Social Security number.

US-Mexico border crossing
US-Mexico border crossing
US-Mexico border crossing, pictured above. A visitor at North Dakota’s Sky Dancer Casino turned out to be in the US illegally. He is from Mexico. (Image: CNN)

A casino security supervisor contacted federal officials. A border patrol agent told the supervisor that the suspect, Fidel Arenas Torres, 43, was arrested and sentenced for murders and kidnapping in Mexico during 2013, KFGO, a local TV station, reported.

Torres left the casino that day before he could be apprehended. But last Friday he returned to the same casino.

This time, casino security contacted Border Patrol agents. They in turn alerted Belcourt, N.D., police.

Local officers were able to apprehend him. Border Patrol agents then interrogated him. He confessed he was in the US illegally, KFGO said.

He came into the US most recently in October 2021.

Torres was previously forced to leave the US after being convicted for a felony. The charges include illegal drugs in Arizona in 2000 and unlawful possession of another person’s ID in Utah in 2011.

The North Dakota US Attorney’s office declined to tell KFGO if the government of Mexico wanted to extradite him back to that country, the report said.

Claims Torture in Mexico

When appearing before North Dakota Magistrate Judge Alice Senechal in federal court on Wednesday, he explained he was tortured by cartel members in Mexico. He does not want to return to the country, he added.

Senechal ordered Torres be to be held in US federal custody until his trial commences. His defense lawyer is a federal public defender. That would indicate he has a minimal income given guidelines to qualify for a public defender.

Sky Dancer Casino and Resort is operated by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

It is close to the Canadian border. The gaming property is 179 miles southeast of Winnipeg, Canada.

Other Illegal Immigrant

Yoni Barrios, the man accused of fatally stabbing two victims and injuring six others on the Las Vegas Strip last October, was also in the US illegally, according to several news reports.

Barrios, 32, was identified as a Guatemalan national who somehow snuck into the US, Fox News reported based on information from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Following his apprehension, ICE issued an immigration detainer on Barrios, the Las Vegas-Review-Journal reported. Last month, he was found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Barrios faced two charges of open murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon.

Now, instead of facing a criminal trial, he was to be sent to a Nevada psychiatric facility, KTNV, a local TV station, reported.

If he’s ever released, ICE would take custody of Barrios. Deportation proceedings would then take place and it would be up to a federal immigration judge on whether Barrios would be deported.

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