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Gambian citizens in U.S. illegally arrested in Monroe County

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Two African citizens who were illegally in the United States have been arrested in Monroe County, federal officials announced Wednesday.

U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Gibraltar station were dispatched to help Michigan State Police with a traffic stop near Luna Pier at about 10 a.m. Oct. 1, the agency said in a statement.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

When stopped, the two men said they were from Gambia; a record check "showed both subjects had overstayed their B2 visas by a combined total of 17 years," according to the release.

The U.S. Department of State website lists such visitor visas as temporary and under the tourism category.

Authorities transported the pair to the station for questioning and identification.

During processing, agents learned one of the men, Salifu Jatta is a convicted felon with a lengthy criminal record, including convictions for trespassing, larceny and marijuana possession, officials said.

The 28-year-old was convicted of grand larceny in 2017 and has "numerous other felony charges still pending out of New York," investigators said. "Jatta has been living in the United States illegally for the past seven years after overstaying his B2 visa he entered on."

The second person arrested, identified only as a 36-year-old man, had also been living in the country illegally for the past 10 years after overstaying the B2 visa he entered on. 

He and Jatta both face federal charges, U.S. Customs and Border Protection representatives said Wednesday.

“We have removed a hardened criminal from the streets of America,” Patrol Agent in Charge Jon Rodrigue said in a statement. “This arrest is the result of law enforcement teamwork and should be commended.”