Tucson stripper arrested on human smuggling charges

Nov 14, 2012, 2:45 PM | Updated: 2:45 pm

An Tucson exotic dancer was arrested Friday for allegedly attempting to smuggle six illegal immigrants to Phoenix, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

Deputies contacted Maria Bustamante, 33, after she allegedly made several traffic violations. When deputies approached the vehicle, they noted that it contained six men who all appeared nervous.

Bustamante said she was giving her friends a ride to Phoenix, but could not name them when asked. Deputies then questioned each man and determined they were all illegal immigrants who had paid between $40 and $200 for a ride into Phoenix. Three men had been deported before and one admitted to have previously smuggled marijuana.

Bustamante told deputies she planned to drop the men off in Phoenix before driving to Texas, where the father of her children is incarcerated. She also claimed that a friend asked her to drive the men, but that she knew that they were in the country illegally.

Bustamante was charged with six counts of human smuggling. Her vehicle and the $1,000 cash she had were seized by deputies.

All six men were turned over the Border Patrol.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Villago Middle School)...
Danny Shapiro

Arizona school district moves to 4-day weeks to boost teacher recruitment, retention

An Arizona school district moved to four-day weeks this year in an effort to boost teacher recruitment and retention and it's working, according to one principal.
13 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Motorcyclist dead after collision with sedan in Phoenix

A 22-year-old man was killed in a collision involving a motorcycle and a sedan Tuesday morning in Phoenix, authorities said.
13 hours ago
(Center for Biological Diversity photo)...

Famous Arizona wild jaguar spotted alive in Mexico 7 years after last sighting

El Jefe, the only known wild jaguar in the United States, has been spotted alive and well in Mexico after going unseen for seven years.
13 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

With more rain headed to metro Phoenix, flood watch goes into effect Tuesday afternoon

With heavy rains expected to fall on Tuesday and into Wednesday, weather forecasters have issued a flood watch around metro Phoenix.
13 hours ago
An automated system extracts DNA for Monkeypox virus testing at the UW Medicine Virology Laboratory...

Arizona diagnostic lab Sonora Quest launches monkeypox PCR test

Sonora Quest Laboratories and Quest Diagnostics announced a "one-of-a-kind" monkeypox test Arizonans can take through health care providers.
13 hours ago
(Press Coffee Photo)...

Press Coffee announces new location at 100 Mill in Tempe

Press Coffee, a local Arizona roaster since 2008, announced it will be opening its 10th Valley location in Tempe inside 100 Mill. 
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Tucson stripper arrested on human smuggling charges