Teenage boy pleads guilty to juvenile charges from March migrant transport case
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) — A 14-year-old Douglas boy has pleaded guilty to juvenile charges stemming from a March incident in which authorities said he backed up into a Border Patrol vehicle while driving two migrants who’d entered the country illegally.
The boy, who previously was charged as an adult, pleaded guilty recently in juvenile court to felony fleeing and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, said Deputy County Attorney Doyle Johnstun.
Johnstun said the boy’s sentencing was set for April 18 and that there is a stipulation that he be sent to the state Department of Juvenile Corrections. The agency can hold juveniles until they turn 18.
The Associated Press generally does not identify juvenile crime defendants and suspects.
At the time of the boy’s March 4 arrest, Cochise County officials believed he was the youngest so-called load driver arrested in the county.
However, an even younger 14-year-old was recently arrested while allegedly trying to illegally ferry migrants in the country illegally. the Herald-Review reported.
Load car drivers are often recruited by Mexican cartels via social media to transport migrants to cities such as Tucson and Phoenix.
Cochise County officials consider load drivers to be public safety hazards because they drive fast and are told to avoid police.
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