BROOKLYN — A Spanish national was in ICE custody Thursday evening, awaiting deportation, hours after U.S. Marshals hauled him out of the family row at the federal trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera.
A source told PIX11 Reny Martinez-Rivera has a long rap sheet, for crimes ranging from forgery to petit larceny to aggravated harassment.
Martinez-Rivera arrived at the courthouse shortly before 7 a.m. Thursday, according to Maria Cespedes, a reporter working for Televisa who entered the courtroom with him.
He told Cespedes he was from Milano, Italy, and that he was close friends with Mexican-born El Chapo and his family.
When marshals later questioned him, Martinez-Rivera reportedly was indignant, telling them "You cannot tell me who my family is."
When federal authorities found out Martinez-Rivera had an open warrant for his arrest, they hauled him into an overflow courtroom on the 8th floor of the federal courthouse and put handcuffs on him.
More NYPD officers joined the federal security teams that were already in place at the U.S. courthouse at Cadman Plaza.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Martinez-Rivera was “pending removal from the U.S." Thursday evening.
ICE later released the following statement:
"On Thursday, ICE arrested Reny Martinez-Rivera, a citizen and national of Spain, on immigration violations. Martinez-Rivera is illegally present in the U.S., and an immigration judge issued him a final order of removal April 26, 2006. He has an extensive criminal history in the U.S., which includes multiple felony convictions.
He was arrested by local authorities on criminal charges on Dec. 6, 2018 but they released him on Dec. 8, 2018 despite an active ICE detainer. He is currently in ICE custody pending removal from the U.S."
An anonymous jury of seven women and five men are considering drug trafficking and murder conspiracy charges against the 61-year-old El Chapo, who’s accused of being the billionaire leader of the brutal Sinaloa cartel in northwestern Mexico.
El Chapo’s trial goes to day five of jury deliberations on Monday.