Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich

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Operation River Walker, 2008

  • One of the largest human smuggling take-downs in Arizona history
  • 48 indicted for smuggling 8,000 undocumented immigrants per year across border to Phoenix drop houses
  • 13 drop houses seized, 20 arrested, 210 undocumented immigrants turned over to ICE
  • Defendants made $130,000 weekly transporting up to 60 people per day
  • Organization believed to have been active for nearly 10 years
  • Used specialized “sub-contractors” to facilitate transport along route including “walkers” to take immigrants across San Pedro River, drop house operators, bank account holders, and load drivers
  • Seven-month investigation conducted by the Financial Crimes Task Force