ARIZONA NEWS

Coordinators of Phoenix area human smuggling stash house sentenced to 220 months in prison

May 11, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: Aug 18, 2023, 4:02 pm

gavel photo threatening federal...

Cecil Noyola, 63, was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his 39-year-old girlfriend. (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Angelico Roa-Joachin, 43, of Mexico, was sentenced in April to 78 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release for human smuggling offenses conducted in the Phoenix-area.

Roa-Joachin was convicted of conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens for profit and reentry of a removed alien.

Three conspirators of Roa-Joachin were sentenced in 2022. Rafael Hernandez-Garcia, 35, of Mexico, was also sentenced to 78 months in federal prison.

Luis Alberto Calixto-Pegueros, 25, and Alexis Mejia-Zamora, 26, both of Mexico, were sentenced to 37 and 27 months in prison, respectively.

On April 22, 2021, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents executed a search warrant at two human smuggling stash houses in Phoenix and apprehended Roa-Joachin, Hernandez-Garcia, Calixto-Pegueros, and Mejia-Zamora, along with more than 30 undocumented non-citizens.

Agents seized firearms, cash, and ledgers detailing smuggling activities.

The HSI investigation revealed that members of the conspiracy regularly moved hundreds of undocumented non-citizens through the two stash houses. The individuals were often held in overcrowded conditions and were not permitted to leave until their families or sponsors paid the smuggling organization for their release.

Roa-Joachin, Hernandez-Garcia, and Calixto-Pegueros were found by United States District Judge Jennifer G. Zipps to have sexually coerced or sexually assaulted at least one female undocumented non-citizen who was being held at the stash houses, which resulted in a sentence enhancement.

The prosecution resulted from the coordinated efforts of Joint Task Force Alpha, established by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in June 2021 to marshal the investigative and prosecutorial resources of the Department of Justice, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security.

The task force is an effort to enhance U.S. enforcement efforts against the most prolific and dangerous human smuggling and trafficking groups operating in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

The task force also focuses on disrupting and dismantling smuggling and trafficking networks that abuse, exploit, or endanger migrants, pose national security threats, and are involved in organized crime.

Homeland Security Investigations’ Douglas office conducted the investigation, with assistance from the Phoenix Police Department.

The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.

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Coordinators of Phoenix area human smuggling stash house sentenced to 220 months in prison