ARIZONA NEWS

3 arrested after 86 undocumented immigrants found in Phoenix

Jul 7, 2022, 4:15 AM

(File Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...

(File Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(File Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Three people were arrested last week for allegedly conspiring to smuggle nearly 90 undocumented immigrants into Phoenix for profit, authorities said.

The men, Salvador Lopez-Vargas, 36, Jesus Villela-Duran, 28, and Eleazar Soto-Diaz, 34, all of Mexico, were booked with conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens after 79 people were found in two residences — a home and an apartment — and seven others were in a nearby vehicle, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona said in a press release.

The men were identified at the caretakers of the properties, authorities said.

All of the people found were citizens from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.

The charges were brought on by the Joint Task Force Alpha which was created in 2021 to enhance U.S. enforcements efforts against human smuggling and trafficking groups operating in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, the release said.

The JTFA is made up from various government organizations, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and law enforcement agents and analysts from the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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3 arrested after 86 undocumented immigrants found in Phoenix