TUCSON, Ariz. – Sonoita Border Patrol agents arrested eleven Mexican nationals, one Guatemalan, and three U.S. citizens Sunday, during two foiled smuggling attempts.
Early Sunday, agents conducted an immigration inspection of the occupants of a blue Nissan SUV near Parker Canyon Lake, 29 miles south of Sonoita. During the inspection, they encountered eight people in the vehicle.
The 59 year-old female driver and 41 year-old male front seat passenger, both from Arizona, were arrested for human smuggling. The six illegal aliens found inside the vehicle were arrested for immigration violations.
Later that morning, agents performed a vehicle stop on a brown Buick Enclave, also near Parker Canyon Lake. During the course of the immigration inspection, agents learned that six passengers inside the vehicle were illegally present in the United States.
The driver, a 48 year-old Tucson woman, was arrested for alien smuggling. The six Mexican nationals, four men and two women, were processed for immigration violations.
Nine of the twelve aliens arrested during the incidents have prior immigration violations and could face additional charges for re-entry after removal from the country.
Federal law allows agents to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Reporting illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.