PHOENIX -- Three U.S. citizens and 11 illegal immigrants were arrested this week on human smuggling charges.
The arrests were made on Wednesday when Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies conducted a traffic stop in north Phoenix.
According to MCSO, the vehicle initially attempted to flee the scene, but authorities were able to prevent the suspects from leaving the area.
After stopping the vehicle, deputies learned that the 11 illegal immigrants had paid between $2,800 and $3,000 to be smuggled to states like Georgia, New York, Florida, North Carolina, and New Jersey.
The group also reportedly admitted to being from Mexico and entering Arizona illegally through Altar.
The three U.S. citizens were reportedly in charge of smuggling the illegal immigrants into the country.
Two of the three U.S. citizens were carrying semi-automatic handguns, and had previous criminal histories.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said arrests like the ones made on Wednesday are becoming increasingly dangerous.
“Violence continues to grow against my deputies. We have had recent incidents where my deputies have been fired upon in the course of their duties. Just this year, two of my deputies have died in violent encounters,” said Arpaio.
Arpaio added that in two weeks he plans to introduce a new plan that will be “giving more firepower” to MCSO deputies.