Arizona migrant smuggler sentenced to 120 months, fined $20K

Apr 15, 2023, 7:15 AM | Updated: 5:57 pm

PHOENIX — Adrian Duran-Estrada, 39, of Tucson, was sentenced last week to 120 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to transport illegal immigrants and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, authorities said.

United States District Judge Jennifer G. Zipps also ordered Duran-Estrada to pay a $200 special assessment and $20,000.

Prosecutors said from at least May 2019 to May 2021, Duran-Estrada coordinated and led others in a conspiracy, in which he used WhatsApp, text messages, and voice calls to coordinate the movement of undocumented non-citizens.

According to the Department of Justice, one incident of note occurred on May 30, 2019. Duran-Estrada coordinated the transport of 10 undocumented non-citizens, who were later apprehended by Border Patrol agents on Highway 286 near Sasabe, Arizona. Later that same day, a juvenile co-conspirator became lost and died in the desert east of Highway 286 while attempting to guide another group of undocumented non-citizens.

In addition, a search of his residence in May 2021, revealed in November 2020, Duran-Estrada knowingly possessed a .22 caliber rifle that he used to poach a deer on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. At the time Duran-Estrada possessed the firearm, he was a convicted felon, having previously been convicted of two separate felony offenses.

Duran-Estrada’s co-defendants, Kaitlan Cox, Arturo Alday Cordova, and Bruce Rivera were previously convicted of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens, conspiracy to transport illegal aliens, and attempted transportation of illegal aliens for their involvement in the conspiracy.

Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection’s United States Border Patrol conducted the investigation in this case, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.

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Arizona migrant smuggler sentenced to 120 months, fined $20K