Major figure in Phoenix-based human smuggling organization sentenced

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PHOENIX - A major figure in a human smuggling organization has been sentenced to 42 years in prison.

Victor Manuel Castillo-Estobar, 26, a Mexican National, was sentenced to 42 years in prison after being convicted on charges of participating in or assisting a criminal syndicate.

Castillo-Estobar was arrested by IIMPACT investigators in February 2009 after a nine-month investigation into the human smuggling organization.

Fourteen others from the organization were also arrested. Eleven of those people received seven-year prison sentences and three received three-year sentences.

Castillo-Estobar rented the house which were used as drop houses and was also involved in the transportation of kidnapped immigrants to various house. He ran the day to day operations overseeing others who worked under his direction.

Among his activities, the investigation revealed Castillo-Estobar used force to extort money from victim's families.