Sheriff's deputies who stopped a van of illegal immigrants found a 3-year-old girl who was not properly seatbelted.
Deputies from the human smuggling unit stopped a van containing 7 adults and a 3-year-old child. They determined that the adults were in the country illegally.
Five of the suspects were booked into the 4th Ave Jail on human smuggling charges and two were turned over to ICE.
Investigators determined that 5 illegal immigrants paid the driver $1,500 each to be smuggled into the United States. They were headed to California.
The smugglers brought along a 3-year-old girl, allegedly a daughter of the female coyote.
MCSO says the girl was seated in the van between two unknown males, and wasn't properly restrained by a seatbelt.
"Children should never be a part of any criminal enterprise and yet we are finding them in many of our human smuggling investigations," Arpaio says. In recent incidents, Arpaio says, deputies have removed five children from vehicles used for human smuggling operations.
The illegal immigrants are Mexican Nationals who crossed the border near Altar, Mexico.