UPDATE: Smuggled toddler's mom arrested by MCSO

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Smuggled toddler's mom arrested

The following UPDATE was sent by MCSO on Wednesday, Oct. 22:

Maricopa County Sheriff's detectives with the Human Smuggling unit put out the word nationally last Saturday that Sheriff Joe Arpaio were trying to locate the mother of a two year old female caught up in a human smuggling arrest in Phoenix.

It was mere hours later that the mother, after hearing from a friend that her daughter's picture was on CNN news, contacted the Mexican Consulate through its internet site telling them she was the mother of the abandoned child.

The woman flew to Phoenix, was picked up by Mexican Consultant employees, and was then interviewed by the Sheriff's detectives who unraveled the complicated story.

Information gleaned from Avila's interview then led Sheriff's detectives to believe that she committed four (4) felonies including conspiracy to commit human smuggling, child endangerment and conspiracy to commit child abuse. She was arrested late yesterday and booked into jail.

According to Sheriff Arpaio, the child's mother lives in Chicago, is employed as a maid there. She has illegally entered the U.S. four (4) different times, has been deported three (3) times and now attempted to have her daughter smuggled into the country as well.

Avila paid strangers $3000.00 to bring her child into the country.

Although, five women laid claim to the child, only Avila provided enough information to lead detectives to believe she was the child's mother.DNA tests were reported to Sheriff's detectives at 1PM today showing a very high probability that Yoseline Martinez is the daughter of Avila.

The child was apparently being care for by a grandparent in Oaxaca, Mexico who willingly turned the child over to coyotes for transport to America. Because of his involvement, the child will not be returned to the grandfather.Instead she will be turned over today to the care of the Mexican government by the Mexican consulate in Phoenix.

Sheriff Arpaio says, "Illegal immigration is an emotional and divisive issue in our country today. But as Sheriff of this county, I have been and will continue to enforce all aspects of our immigration laws.That does not mean that our hearts don't break when it comes to situations like this. They do."


PHOENIX - At just two years old, she's already been on quite a journey.

A little girl is believed to have been smuggled from southern Mexico, north across the border to be reunited with family here in the U.S.

Sheriff's deputies found the little girl along with 12 other suspected illegal immigrants, including two smugglers, during a traffic stop near 43rd avenue and Broadway Saturday morning.

No one has claimed the child or provided information about her family, so she was placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.

The Mexican Consulate in Phoenix immediately notified every other consulate across the United States.

Monday morning a woman claiming to be the child's mother came forward.

After seeing pictures of her child at another office, the mother began to cry.

The woman, who lives out of state, told authorities that her daughter's name is Jocelin.

But they won't be reunited any time soon. DNA testing will take place first to confirm parenthood.

As to what will happen to them after that is not clear.

Authorities say they are going to put the mother in contact with the office of investigation and see what happens.


Sheriff's deputies are searching for the parents of a 2-year old girl after investigators believe she was smuggled across the border.

Deputies found the girl Saturday when they stopped a van near 43rd Avenue and Broadway. The toddler was wedged between two people. In all, there were 10 illegal immigrants and two smugglers with the child but no one in the van has claimed the girl or explained how to locate her parents.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio says, "Everyone is clamming up in that van but we'll keep the interrogation going, our people out there, the surveillancewe're not giving up until we find who's responsible."

The girl will be placed with Child Protective Services. The sheriff says his department will contact Mexican authorities to see if someone is missing a 2-year old girl.