Not-So-Tough Illegal Behind Viral Videos Claims Persecution Following ICE Arrest


(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) The now-arrested illegal alien behind viral TikTok videos demonstrating how to squat in homes and exploit U.S. public benefits is now claiming victimhood over what he claimed to be persecution over his social media posts. 

In an interview with the New York Post from his jail cell, Leonel Moreno claimed to fear for his “freedom” and compared being arrested for skipping ICE parole hearings to the persecution he allegedly faced in Venezuela.

“I came here to the United States because of persecution in my country … But they’re doing the same thing to me in the United States – persecuting me,” Moreno stated in Spanish.

He continued, “It’s all misinformation in the media about me. They’re defaming me. They’re misrepresenting me in the news … I am a good father, a good husband, a good son, a good person, humble, respectful to people who respect me.”

Seemingly in tears, Moreno lamented, “I miss my entire life – I miss my freedom.” Later in the interview, he voiced concerns about his life, claiming, “I am afraid they’re going to kill me. They’re coming for my life – anyone!”

Moreno’s claims of fear represent a stark contrast to his previous defiant demeanor showcased in many of his viral videos.

Before his arrest by federal immigration authorities, Moreno posted videos on his now-suspended TikTok (where he boasted over 500,000 followers), advocating for illegal immigrants to squat homes in the U.S. “Guys, I am considering invading a home… This is going to be my next business: invade abandoned homes,” he claimed in one of his videos.

In other videos, Moreno criticized law enforcement after the arrest of a 15-year-old illegal immigrant (also from Venezuela) accused of attempted murder for shooting a Brazilian tourist inside a Times Square sporting goods store.  According to authorities, Jesus Rivas-Figueroa, the alleged shooter, fired at NYPD officers who pursued him to a nearby train station in February. 

In another video, Moreno boasted about his daughter, whom he claimed was a U.S. citizen entitled to certain public benefits.

ICE apprehended Moreno on March 29 after he illegally re-entered the U.S. on April 3, 2022. ICE informed the Post that Moreno failed to attend mandatory check-ins.

The Post reported that Moreno could face firearm charges following the emergence of photos depicting him with guns. Federal law prohibits illegal immigrants from purchasing or possessing firearms.

On Sunday, Headline USA reached out to the Geauga County Jail and the Sheriff’s Office, where Moreno is currently held. The county jail suggested that only Lieutenant Kathy Rose, who oversees operations, could provide information about the case. Rose was unavailable for immediate comment regarding Moreno’s arrest and potential federal or state charges.