PHOENIX — A Phoenix woman is accused of second-degree murder in a human
smuggling operation she allegedly orchestrated.
Pinal County Sheriff’s officials say 48-year-old Yolanda Banda was arrested
Wednesday night. She’s also is being held on suspicion of human smuggling and
Her bond was set at $250,000 Thursday. She doesn’t have a lawyer yet.
Deputies say eight heat exhaustion victims were found in the back of a U-Haul
van July at an Interstate 10 gas station at Picacho Peak northwest of Tucson.
One of the eight _ a man from Mexico _ later died at a Tucson hospital.
Authorities issued a search warrant at the U-Haul rental on July 12. They
reported finding a rental contract signed by Banda and a gasoline receipt in
Douglas with her credit card.