MCSO: human smuggling investigations lead to 29 arrests in 24 hours

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said detectives with the Human Smuggling Unit made a total of 29 arrests during a 24-hour period this week.

On Wednesday evening, detectives were investigating an SUV in northern Maricopa County when the vehicle came to a stop and four suspects ran into the desert.

Twelve other suspects inside the SUV were apprehended, and two of the people who fled the scene were eventually located and taken into custody.

While investigating the SUV, detectives also noticed a Nissan Maxima that had been serving as a decoy.

The vehicle was taken into evidence after the occupants fled the area.

Detectives went on to learn that the individuals inside the SUV had paid as much as $7,000 to be taken to Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, and Massachusetts.

During a separate MCSO investigation in Gila Bend, six other suspects were arrested by detectives with the Human Smuggling Unit. 

MCSO did not specifically say when and where the other nine people were arrested.

They did, however, announce on Wednesday that seven people had been booked into jail and two others had been turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement after an SUV was investigated on Tuesday.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he remains committed to enforcing the law.

“We enforce all laws and will continue to crack down on criminal violations related to the border, regardless of politics, threats and intimidations that are routinely tossed in our way,” said Arpaio.