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used multiple funnel accounts to collect millions of dollars in smuggling fees deposited across the United States and withdrawn primarily in the Phoenix area.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

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News


Nick Borgia

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes discusses A.I. and misinformation

With elections quickly approaching, Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes offered his takes on a variety of different political issues.

2 hours ago


Nick Borgia

Amtech relocates global headquarters to Rio2100 in Tempe

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. announced the relocation of the Amtech Systems Inc. global headquarters to a new area in Tempe on Wednesday.

5 hours ago


3 dead in wrong-way crash on State Route 87 in Fountain Hills

Three people died in a wrong-way crash on State Route 87 in Fountain Hills, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

7 hours ago

Project Active Duty: AHS program helps service members, pets...

Serena O'Sullivan

Military member reunited with cat after 7-month deployment

An Arizona Humane Society program called Project Active Duty protects service members' animals while they're serving the country.

8 hours ago

A man was sentenced to seven years in prison for fentanyl-related crimes. (Pexels photo)...

Damon Allred

Drug trafficker sentenced to 7 years in prison for elaborate fentanyl distribution scheme

A 20-year-old man was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to fentanyl-related crimes.

9 hours ago

An abandoned Phoenix golf course will be revived this year by the new owner of the property. (Jim P...

Angela Gonzales/Phoenix Business Journal

Developer to breathe new life into abandoned Phoenix golf course, build 415 homes

An abandoned golf course at the southeast corner of 59th and Southern avenues in Phoenix's Laveen Village could get a new lease on life, after years of intense talks between the property's owner and community residents.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Suspected human smuggler extradited to Tucson from Honduras