SAN ANTONIO — The Bexar County Sheriff's Office says it has shared the findings of its investigation into whether political operatives committed "unlawful restraint" when they lured migrants at San Antonio's Migrant Resource Center onto a plane bound for Martha's Vineyard last year to the district attorney.
BCSO provided KENS 5 with the following statement:
"Our findings of the investigation have been sent to the Bexar County District Attorney's Office. However, due to the ongoing nature of the investigation and its review with the District Attorney's Office, we are not releasing specific details at this time."
Unlawful restraint is typically a misdemeanor offense, though it can be a felony under certain circumstances.
The incident unfolded in the fall of 2022, when a number of migrants reportedly identified a San Antonio native named Perla Huerta as the woman who recruited them from near the migrant resource center on San Pedro Boulevard.
Venezuelan migrants flown to Martha's Vineyard in September sued Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his transportation secretary for engaging in a “fraudulent and discriminatory scheme” to move them. The suit alleges migrants were falsely told that they would be taken to Boston or Washington. Instead, they arrived at the resort island where no one expected them.
A previous statement from Sheriff Javier Salazar stated the agency could pursue that charge because of claims that the migrants were transported out of the county under false pretenses.
Foreign victims of unlawful restraint qualify for visas, as long as they cooperate with investigators.
Immigration attorney Teresa Coles-Davila says witnesses to unlawful restraint crimes also qualify for special visas, meaning some migrants who were at the resource center but did not go to Martha's Vineyard could secure extended stays in the United States.
Coles-Davila noted, though, that most migrants will likely spend years in the United States without a visa, waiting for backlogged asylum courts to process their cases.
Investigators had said they had identified suspects. However, authorities will not confirm if Huerta is a suspect.
DeSantis said he paid for the flights and hired contractors to identify migrants willing to relocate.