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Eight Indicted on Human Smuggling, Racketeering Charges

(Phoenix, Ariz. – March 9, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the indictments of eight members of a human smuggling organization following their arrests last weekend in Mesa.

The State Grand Jury indicted Andreas Aguilar Sanchez, 30; Miguel Gomez, 22; Rodriguez Browlio Alvarado, 25 ; Maria Lopez, 25; Adolfo Gomez-Lopez, 24; Roberto Santis-Lopez 32; and Reyna Aguilar-Hernandez, 19, on charges of human smuggling, conspiracy, fraud, assisting a criminal syndicate, illegally conducting an enterprise and money laundering. An eighth defendant was indicted but has not yet been served with court documents.

Santis-Lopez was also charged with participating in a criminal syndicate, aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.

The indictment alleges that the defendants engaged in human smuggling between March 2004 and March 2006. The organization allegedly charged about $1,800 per person. When the defendants were arrested over the weekend of March 3, more than 60 undocumented immigrants were detained. The immigrants were released to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be processed for deportation.

The defendants will be arraigned in Maricopa County Superior Court on March 17. If convicted of all charges, all defendants except Santis-Lopez each face up to 41.25 years in prison. If convicted of all charges, Santis-Lopez faces up to 60.75 years in prison. Assistant Attorney General Theodore Campagnolo is prosecuting this case.

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