Man accused of human smuggling in deadly Pinal County crash extradited from Georgia

Paz-Lara could face additional charges including aggravated assault and endangerment.
Paz-Lara could face additional charges including aggravated assault and endangerment.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 1:24 PM MST|Updated: Aug. 16, 2023 at 1:38 PM MST
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FLORENCE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office says a man now faces manslaughter charges after a human trafficking attempt ended in a deadly wreck in 2022.

Deputies say the crash happened on the night of Nov. 9 after the driver, identified as 23-year-old Rubelio Cruz de Paz-Lara, from Guatemala, hit a vehicle and several cattle on Park Link Drive east of Red Rock.

During the crash investigation, deputies found an SUV traveling eastbound approaching the road closure when Paz-Lara swerved, nearly hitting a deputy. Authorities found the car less than one mile from the initial wreck, where several people inside were seriously hurt, and a woman was found dead. Several of those migrants fled into the desert, some of which were later taken into custody.

Months later, detectives identified Paz-Lara as the suspect in the crash. He was extradited from Georgia and transferred to Pinal County custody earlier this week. Paz-Lara is currently booked into the county jail on manslaughter charges with aggravated assault and endangerment charges pending.

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