El Mirage, Arizona. – El Mirage Police Department officials said they arrested a person in connection with human smuggling.
According to a statement released in September. On September 24, police received reports of a ransom being held at a home near the intersection of El Mirage Road and Thunderbird Road on the evening of September 9. twenty three.
“The complainant states that multiple persons, including her husband, were forcibly held in the residence,” read part of the statement.
When officers arrived, they saw a vehicle leave the home, officials said.
Tania Estudillo Hernandez (Courtesy: El Mirage Police Department)
“The vehicle was pulled over and an alleged smuggler, Tania Estudillo Hernandez, 24, was arrested while transporting a Guatemalan national,” read part of the statement.
Investigators said they found 80 to 100 undocumented immigrants were detained and/or processed in their homes for at least six months each month and charged up to $15,000 in smuggling fees.
“This [El Mirage Police Department] It was learned that two smugglers left the home with 10 undocumented migrants during a traffic stop,” part of the statement.
Officials said the search warrant was served at the home. During the search, a semi-automatic rifle, two pistols (one of which was reportedly stolen from Phoenix) and ammunition were seized. In addition, officials found ledgers recording people smuggling, as well as other evidence of people smuggling, including evidence that officials say Hernandez managed and directed the smuggling operations.
Hernandez is being held in the Maricopa County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, money laundering, operating or participating in an illegal business, and conspiracy, according to officials.
“This [El Mirage Police Department] is cooperating with the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigations,” part of the statement.
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