An Arizona mother, armed with a sidearm, took four children along for a human smuggling ride Sunday evening. The woman appeared to use three of her own children and a 5-year-old nephew as cover while she allegedly attempted to smuggle an illegal immigrant through a Border Patrol inspection checkpoint.
Nogales Station Border Patrol agents observed a Ford Expedition approaching the Interstate 19 immigration checkpoint Sunday evening. The driver, a 39-year-old female U.S. citizen from Rio Rico, Arizona, had four children and two adults in her vehicle. During questioning, the agents learned that the 29-year-old female passenger was a Mexican national with a legal border crossing card. The male passenger, a 23-year-old Mexican national, admitted to being in the U.S. illegally, according to Tucson Sector officials.
The female U.S. citizen driver was also wearing a .38 caliber pistol on her hip, officials said. Also riding in the vehicle were three of her children, ages 10, 11, and 13. Her 5-year-old nephew was also in the SUV.
The agents arrested both women on charges of human smuggling. The male Mexican national is being processed by the Nogales Station agents for immigration violations.
Border Patrol agents separated the U.S. citizen mother from her children and turned them over to Child Protective Services. The agents turned the 5-year-old nephew over to his mother.
The following day, Wilcox Station agents stopped a 25-year-old Sierra Vista woman on State Route 80 just south of Benson, Arizona. During the immigration inspection, the agents discovered four Mexican nationals in the passenger compartment. Further inspection uncovered two more illegal alien Mexican nationals packed like luggage in the trunk of the car.
The agents arrested the U.S. citizen driver and charged her with human smuggling. The migrants, two women and four men between the ages of 17 and 37, are being processed for immigration violations.