PHOENIX -- Maricopa County sheriff's deputies arrested 15 suspected illegal immigrants in the area of Interstate 10 and Warner Road Tuesday morning.
As deputies approached a white Chevrolet pickup truck to speak with the driver, he and his front passenger fled on foot into an Ahwatukee neighborhood. They were found about 90 minutes later hiding in the upper branches of an orange tree in a yard a mile away.
According to MCSO, 13 suspects were found hidden beneath a tarp covered by a ladder in the back of the truck. They told the deputies they were being smuggled into the country after paying the main smuggler between $2,000 and $4,000.
They were being driven from the U.S/Mexico border to their destinations, which were Phoenix, California, Texas, Idaho and New Jersey.
All suspects were booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail for class four felony charges.
"The entry into Maricopa County from Mexico by illegal aliens does not seem to have subsided by evidence of the recent arrest by my deputies," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.