Leonel Moreno: Venezuelan 'Migrant Influencer' Who Mocked America and Sparked Fury with TikTok Videos Sharing Squatting Tips Arrested by ICE

Moreno has been hunted by ICE since he illegally crossed the border at Eagle Pass, Texas, in April 2022.

Illegal 'migrant influencer' Leonel Moreno who mocked America in several viral videos on social media, has been arrested by federal immigration authorities. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) fugitive operations officers arrested Moreno in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday and he is currently being held at Geauga County Jail.

Moreno has been hunted by ICE since he illegally crossed the border at Eagle Pass, Texas, in April 2022. He was released as part of the Alternatives to Detention Program, which allows migrants on parole to be released while officials monitor them until their next court date. He was set to appear in court in Miami in November 2022 but never did so.

Nabbed Finally

Leonel Moreno
Leonel Moreno X

In a statement to The New York Post, an ICE spokesperson said: "Leonel Moreno is an unlawfully present citizen of Venezuela, who illegally entered the country April 23, 2022.

"Moreno was placed into the Alternatives To Detention program by Border Patrol and was told to report to Enforcement and Removal Operations office within 60 days of arriving at his destination.

"Moreno did not report as required. On March 29, 2024, Moreno was arrested in Gahanna, Ohio by officers with ERO Detroit's Columbus office and is currently detained pending further immigration proceedings."

While in the US, Moreno used his various social media platforms to urge other migrants to enter the country and squat in the homes of American citizens, often waving around wads of cash and flaunting government handouts.

"I didn't cross the Rio Grande to work like a slave," Moreno can be seen saying in one Instagram clip. "I came to the US to mark my territory.

Leonel Moreno
Leonel Moreno X

"You're hurt because I make more than you without much work while you work like slaves, understand?" Moreno said in another social media post.

"That's the difference between you and me. I'm always going to make lots of money without much work, and you're always going to be exploited and miserable and insignificant."

The videos seem to have helped ICE track him, as he had been challenging to trace before.

Banned But Still Active

TikTok recently closed Moreno's account, which had around 500,000 followers. His Instagram account, which was still active as of Friday, has over 17,000 followers. On Tuesday, he posted a series of peculiar videos on a new account, where he could be seen sobbing and claiming to be the victim of persecution.

Leonel Moreno
Leonel Moreno X

"I am in danger of death in the US! I need protection! I am being persecuted! My account has been blocked!" he said as a strange liquid dripped from his nose.

"My people, I need you to pay attention to what's happening because my family is on danger. They erased my TikTok accounts. I have received threats from powerful people. Help!"

In a separate video he said: "My people, they have gotten what they wanted! The envy has reached my family! Everything that's happening is because of your evilness!

Leonel Moreno
Leonel Moreno X

"They want to silence me!"

Moreno gained attention in February when he urged Venezuelans to unite in support of a 15-year-old migrant accused of shooting a tourist and attempting to kill an NYPD officer in Times Square.

Having traveled to the US with his wife and young daughter, who frequently appears in his videos, the family reportedly receives $350 a week from the federal government.