PHOENIX, AZ (November 4, 2011) – An attempt to smuggle eight illegal aliens into Arizona has resulted in a guilty verdict for Guadalupe Garcia-Corral (D.O.B. 1/8/72), who was apprehended while driving the group to Flagstaff earlier this year. He faces a prison term of one to 3.75 years when he is sentenced before Judge Paul McMurdie on December 8, 2011. While most human smuggling cases are typically resolved by plea agreement, this is the first to go to trial in the last five years.
“Human smuggling is a serious crime that victimizes not just the individuals who are illegally transported, but the neighborhoods in which they are housed against their will and the businesses that have to compete with firms that hire undocumented workers,” remarked Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “My office will continue to aggressively prosecute these crimes to protect the citizens of Maricopa County from these unauthorized incursions and the negative impacts they create,” he added.
On March 21, 2011, Detectives with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office were conducting surveillance for load vehicles involved in human smuggling on I-17, just south of Anthem. Detectives stopped a silver Chevrolet van driven by Garcia-Corral and discovered the eight illegal alien passengers. Garcia-Corral initially indicated that he was only driving his friends to Flagstaff, but after being confronted with the fact that he did not know anyone in the vehicle, including a female Chinese passenger who could not speak English or Spanish, he confessed to transporting the illegal aliens to Flagstaff for $120 per person.
Garcia-Corral later claimed his confession was fabricated. On March 29, 2011, a Maricopa County Grand Jury convicted him of one class 4 felony count of engaging in human smuggling for profit. The seven Spanish speaking passengers each pled to one count of solicitation of human smuggling and were deported to their home countries. The Chinese speaking passenger was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and deported.