Tucson woman arrested for human smuggling
Web Producer: Rikki Mitchell
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - An exotic dancer from Tucson was arrested November 9 for smuggling six people who were in the country illegally.
Tim Gaffney with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office tells KGUN9 that Maria Bustamante, 33, was arrested for six counts of human smuggling, a class 6 felony, when deputies stopped her car traveling westbound on Interstate 10 for several traffic violations.
Bustamante told deputies she was giving the six men a ride to Phoenix from Tucson. She told deputies they were her friends but then when questioned she could not provide their names.
Deputies asked the men where they were going and they said California.
When asked if they were U.S. Citizens, the men said no.
All six men were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol.
Bustamante told deputies she works as an exotic dancer in Tucson and that the father of her children was currently in jail in Texas.
She told deputies she planned on dropping the men off in Phoenix and then driving to Texas. She knew that the men were in the U.S. illegally.
Bustamante's car, and the money she had was seized by deputies.