70-year-old Arizona man sentenced for smuggling people across U.S.-Mexico border

Sep 7, 2023, 4:25 AM

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PHOENIX —  A Tucson man was sentenced to prison for his involvement in smuggling people across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Michael Ortiz, 70, was sentenced in August to 45 months in prison. He received 33 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, according to the Department of Justice.

In addition, Ortiz was sentenced to 12 months of consecutive imprisonment for violating the conditions of his federal supervised release, the Justice Department said. That release was from a 2018 smuggling conviction.

For the most recent sentence, Ortiz pleaded guilty to transportation of illegal aliens for profit.

In July 2022, U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered Ortiz while he was transporting four people who were illegally in the U.S.

Ortiz fled agents while traveling at speeds of 90 mph for about 30 minutes, the Justice Department said.

Agents apprehended him after his vehicle became stuck near a wash on a dirt road.

The case was investigated by Customs and Border Protection’s U.S. Border Patrol.

The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson, prosecuted the case.

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70-year-old Arizona man sentenced for smuggling people across U.S.-Mexico border