Yavapai County, Arizona deputies arrested 31 illegal aliens within two days in an area highly trafficked by human smugglers on Interstate 17, a Phoenix ABC affiliate reports. In one encounter, deputies pulled over a van that appeared to be overloaded. It was carrying 15 passengers who ICE confirmed as being illegally present after conducting phone interviews.Similar traffic stops yielded the arrests of six illegal aliens in one vehicle, and ten in another, after ICE verified the occupants were in the county illegally. Some of the suspects were taken to detention in a truck driven by a member of the “Volunteer in Protection” program, which allows deputies to remain in the field while volunteers transport their prisoners. ICE subsequently took custody of the arrestees pending deportation proceedings. Police believe this uptick in vehicular transportation and apprehensions is the result of a diversion of illegal alien traffic after the closure of several drop houses in Mesa and Phoenix. It also may result from the smugglers’ efforts to move their human cargo out of urban areas where apprehension is more likely. But whatever the reason, the efforts represents another success story in which local and Federal officials, as well as volunteers, worked together to stop illegal immigration.
Updated: Wed, Jul 5th 2017 @ 2:01pm EDT