Armed Human Smuggler Arrested in Arizona near Border

by Bob Price 24 Feb 2020

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents disrupted several human smuggling operations last week, including one involving an armed smuggler. Smugglers locked several of the migrants into the trunks of their vehicles.

Agents patrolling near Douglas, Arizona, on Wednesday stopped a Ford Explorer with several occupants. During immigration interviews, the agents determined the driver and female passenger, both from Bisbee, Arizona, were transporting six illegal immigrants, according to information obtained from Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials.

During a search of the Explorer, an agent found a .38 caliber revolver. The agents arrested all eight and seized the property.

Later, agents patrolling near Ajo, Arizona, teamed up with several law enforcement agencies to attempt to stop a vehicle that refused to stop for an immigration inspection, officials stated. The driver eventually stopped on federal Route 1 and all of the occupants jumped out and attempted to flee on foot. The agents quickly rounded up three migrants and their driver.

At about the same time, agents assigned to the State Route 85 immigration checkpoint observed a Mitsubishi Mirage approaching for inspection. During the inspection, the agents found two individuals locked in the trunk.

Just one day earlier, Interstate 19 checkpoint agents made a similar arrest after finding two more migrants locked in the trunk of a Kia Spectra. The arrests came after a K-9 detection team alerted to the possible presence of drugs or human cargo in the trunk. The agents referred the driver and passenger, a male and female from Tucson, to the secondary inspection station. Agents identified the migrants as Mexican nationals.

“These arrests illustrate the complexity of our mission,” said Chief Roy D. Villareal of the Tucson Sector. “Agents never know who they will encounter, and no situation is routine.”