Two cases net 17 suspected illegal immigrant arrests

Sep 7, 2012, 4:25 PM | Updated: 4:25 pm

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office human smuggling unit arrested a total of 17 suspected illegal aliens on Thursday.

In one case, a vehicle with 12 suspected illegal immigrants and two coyotes was pulled over by police. The passengers — nine Mexican nationals, two El Salvador nationals and one Guatemalan national — said they paid between $1,200 and $6,000 each to be smuggled into different parts of the country.

The suspects were all booked.

In the second case, deputies working a drug case came across five men huddled under a tree. The men attempted to flee, but surrendered quickly. The men told deputies they had paid a coyote $2,000 each to get them across the border safely.

All five Mexican national suspects were booked.

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Two cases net 17 suspected illegal immigrant arrests