SAN ANTONIO - A suspected group of smugglers were arrested Wednesday by Guatemalan, Mexican and U.S. officials. Officials believe the seven people have ties to organizations working along the U.S. and Mexican borders - including Texas and Arizona.
A press release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the group are "believed to be key members of a confederation of Central American human smuggling organizations that recruit, organize and transport people, including unaccompanied children, from their points of origin in Central and South America to the United States via Arizona and South Texas."
ICE said some of the smuggling victims died during their journey.
The individuals arrested in Quetzaltenango were:
- Antonio Rolando Chavez Paxtor
- Maricela Isabel Gonzalez Hernandez
- Eliseo Alvarado Gonzalez
- Marciano Alvarado Gonzalez
- Antonio Adonias Gonzalez Hernandez
- Genaro Elias Jimenez
- Pablo Arnoldo Gomez-Gonzalez
Two people arrested in Mexican territory were:
- Douglas Ivan Aguilar-Juarez
- Milton Rocael Sebastian Cardona
Bank accounts linked to the suspects showed the group collected more than $3 million for its smuggling efforts.
"HSI had arrested 191 smugglers and their associates on criminal charges in the United States. U.S. officials also took more than 450 undocumented people into custody and seized nearly $600,000 U.S. dollars in illicit profits from U.S. bank accounts held by human smuggling and drug trafficking organizations," the press release said.
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