A man in northern California has been arrested in connection with the robberies of several illegal immigrants working at construction sites in El Dorado County. Police say the suspect presented himself as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, handcuffing his victims, threatening them with deportation, and extorting them for cash.
What are the details?
Patrick Mullany, 56, is accused of targeting Mexican illegal immigrants and placing them under false arrest as part of his scheme. Authorities took him into custody Monday on suspicion of armed robbery, false imprisonment, and impersonating a police officer, the Sacramento Bee reported.
According to the Daily Mail, Mullany was busted after hitting the same construction site twice in less than two weeks, leading workers to catch on to the ploy and alert authorities.
El Dorado County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Andrew Principe said, "For this group to call us and come forward it's helpful because we got this guy off the street. Who knows how many other people he targeted?"
Mullany allegedly took the money to pay "court fees" he owed.
A neighbor of the accused reportedly told Univision, "He talked about Mexicans saying they're dirty. I told him I'm Mexican and he was quiet and treated me all right for the most part."
Deputies recovered two replica guns, two pairs of handcuffs, and cash from searching the suspect's home and vehicle. He is currently being held on $102,000 bond.