MCSO: Woman admits smuggling 4 illegal immigrants into Ariz.

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by Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 9 at 11:28 AM

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County sheriff's deputies arrested four illegal immigrants and a woman who allegedly smuggled them into the United States.

The five people were arrested late Friday night and booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on state human-smuggling charges. Their names were not released.

The female driver, a United States citizen, told deputies that she was at a gas station when four men forced her at gunpoint to drive the group to their destination.

She later admitted to detectives that she had falsified her story and knowingly engaged in human smuggling, according to MCSO spokesman Officer Christopher Hegstrom.

During interviews with detectives, members of the group reportedly admitted to paying between $2,000 and $2,200 to be smuggled into the U.S. Their destinations were Arizona, California and Texas.

Hegstrom said the group also admitted to being from Mexico and Honduras. They said they crossed illegally into Arizona through Sonoita.

"I will continue to enforce the laws and protect the citizens of Maricopa County," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a news release.
 

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