Tucson man sentenced to 30 months in human smuggling case
May 18, 2023, 4:00 PM | Updated: 5:51 pm
PHOENIX – A Tucson man was sentenced last week in a human smuggling case.
Michael Lopez-Loreto, 22, received 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Lopez-Loreto pleaded guilty in February to Conspiracy to Transport Illegal Aliens for Profit Placing in Jeopardy the Life of Any Person.
In January, U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered Lopez-Loreto after a homeowner reported a vehicle on their property. Agents saw people run from the desert and enter the vehicle that was being driven Lopez-Loreto.
He then drove to an area where the agents blocked the roadway and was forced to slow down due to the obstruction.
A pursuit began after, Lopez-Loreto was able to maneuver around agents to avoid being apprehended.
During the chase, agents used spike strips twice to stop Lopez-Loreto’s vehicle, but he was able to avoid them. However, as Lopez-Loreto was avoiding the strips, he swerved into an oncoming lane, causing him rollover after he crashed into water barriers.
Two passengers, who were undocumented non-citizens he was smuggling further into the country, suffered injuries and were taken to the hospital to be treated.