Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

HAMMOND, La. (WGNO)— A total of 11 people spent their Mardi Gras behind bars after their involvement in a theft ring.

On Feb. 19, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Chief Jimmy Travis announced four people were arrested for a pickpocketing scheme during Mardi Gras festivities. Deputies responded after receiving an alert of a lost phone from the “Find My Phone” app.

Investigations led detectives to a short-term rental complex in Tickfaw, La. A search warrant for the residence was obtained and detectives recovered 40 cell phones and arrested:

  • 24-year-old Geinier Acevebo-Jimenez
  • 26-year-old Jean Paul Sabogal-Angortia
  • 31-year-old Bridgette Solorzano-Rodriguez
  • 36-year-old Yudi Tatiana Solorzano Sanchez

Further investigations led to the discovery of more individuals involved and on Feb. 20 a second search warrant was obtained for another apartment at the same complex. Detectives found an additional 122 cell phones and arrested seven others:

  • 30-year-old Kely Yojana Forero-Mendoza
  • 24-year-old Paula Daniela Canaria-Villamil
  • 33-year-old Paola Fernanda Consuegra-Gavlis
  • 30-year-old Jhon Alexander Flores-Munoz
  • 26-year-old Yuli Oney Gutierrez
  • 31-year-old Ronald Steven Carvajal
  • 47-year-old Jorge Jimenez

All subjects were booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail. Deputies are still searching for one man wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation. Deputies also seized a vast amount of evidence during both operations.

federal agencies confirmed all of the identified individuals are members or associates of a large Columbian theft ring operating in the United States.

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