ARIZONA NEWS

Suspected human smuggler extradited to Tucson from Honduras

Jun 24, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: Jun 25, 2023, 12:34 pm

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — A woman has been extradited from Honduras to the United States to face charges related to human smuggling and money laundering.

Maria Mendoza-Mendoza was scheduled to make her initial court appearance on Friday in Tucson, according to a press release.

Per court documents, Mendoza-Mendoza is a high-level, Honduran-based human smuggling coordinator who, along with co-conspirators throughout Central America, Mexico and the United States, was responsible for facilitating the illegal entry, transport and harboring of numerous undocumented non-citizens.

According to the release, Mendoza-Mendoza allegedly directed the movement of non-citizens and the collection of their smuggling fees.

She also is alleged to have exercised extensive control over co-conspirators.

The smuggling organization is alleged to have used multiple funnel accounts to collect millions of dollars in smuggling fees deposited across the United States and withdrawn primarily in the Phoenix area.

Mendoza-Mendoza is charged with conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens for profit and transportation of and harboring illegal aliens for profit.

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

She also is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction.

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Suspected human smuggler extradited to Tucson from Honduras