They sentence a Mexican who pleaded guilty to transporting thousands of undocumented immigrants in Arizona

Ochoa-Vásquez and his accomplices also threatened the families of undocumented immigrants who were late with their payments.

Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Manuel Ochoa-Vásquez, 39, of Paso Hondo, Mexico, was sentenced by United States District Judge John C. Hideraker to 96 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for his management role in a criminal conspiracy to harbor and transport thousands of undocumented non-citizens.

Ochoa-Vasquez pleaded guilty on December 15, 2022 to conspiracy to transport illegal aliens for profit and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents conducted a court-approved wiretap for a year after discovering that people were being smuggled from the US border into a machine shop and several residences in the greater Phoenix area.

During the execution of the search warrants, 54 undocumented non-citizens were found at the main hideout operated by Ochoa-Vasquez and his co-conspirators. The investigation revealed that the smuggled individuals were detained at the safe house until the smuggling fees were paid.

In addition, the wire communications revealed that Ochoa-Vásquez and his accomplices sometimes threatened the families or sponsors of the people being smuggled if the smuggling fees were late.

The Mexican Manuel Ochoa-Vásquez, 39, was sentenced to spend eight years in federal prison for conspiring to transport and harbor "thousands of undocumented immigrants" in Arizona, the US Department of Justice reported Monday.

Ochoa-Vásquez's arrest came after agents from the Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) intercepted for a year a telephone line where the operation of smuggling immigrants from the border of the United States to an auto repair shop was discovered. and several residences in the greater Phoenix area.

Investigators determined that Ochoa-Vásquez and his accomplices also threatened the families of undocumented immigrants who were late with payments.

More than 1.4 million dollars in cash and various weapons and ammunition were found at the residence of Ochoa-Vásquez and his accomplice, Carlos Barron-Arredondo, according to the Justice Department.

Several accounting books were also found where the payments of more than 7,000 migrants were recorded.

The Mexican pleaded guilty last December so he avoided going to trial and facing a greater penalty if found guilty.

In addition to Ochoa-Vásquez and Barron-Arredondo, twelve other people were detained as part of the investigation. They all pleaded guilty.

With information from EFE

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