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Woman Arrested In Emotional Viral Video Is Part Of Criminal Smuggling Operation, Says Border Patrol

Arrest of Perla Morales-Luna in National City, March 8, 2018.
Arrest of Perla Morales-Luna in National City, March 8, 2018. (SOURCE: Judith Castro-Gonzalez/Facebook)

STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) — An emotional video of a woman getting shoved into a border patrol vehicle as her children look on helplessly has gone viral, but authorities say the woman is part of a criminal organization.

The video of the woman being apprehended by Customs and Border Protection agents in National City near San Diego was posted to Facebook Thursday morning.

Immediately, activists denounced the video, which shows the woman's daughters screaming as she struggles with officers.

Judith Castro-Gonzalez, a teaching aide, posted the video with a message in English and Spanish that read, "!Please share! ️It breaks my heart to know that this is the mother of one of my students[...] The brutalized, injustice that is happening in this country is sad  my people, this battle continues and we should not give up. I will be aware of the development of this case."

Despite the emotional response to the video, Customs and Border Protection officials said the woman is an organizer for major, "transnational criminal smuggling organization," and that she was arrested for being in the United States without legal documentation.

In a tweet, they identified the woman as Perla Morales-Luna.

It is not clear in what type of smuggling — drug, human or otherwise — authorities believe Morales-Luna was involved.

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