Tucson man sentenced to 30 months in human smuggling case

May 18, 2023, 4:00 PM | Updated: 5:51 pm

Colombian woman indicted for smuggling over 100 people into U.S. in Arizona...

The woman is suspected of smuggling at least 100 people into the country, prosecutors said. (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

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.

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Tucson man sentenced to 30 months in human smuggling case