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YCSO Deputy Arrests A Texas Man Near Ash Fork For Human Smuggling

Jose Ortiz

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Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Texas man for human smuggling Wednesday on Interstate-40 near Ash Fork. Officials say a Sheriff’s K9 unit conducted a traffic stop at around 9:30 a.m. for two civil traffic violations. During the stop, the deputy became suspicious of the behavior of two people in the vehicle and asked to search the car. They agreed. The deputy found items suggesting criminal activity in a small duffle bag. When questioning the driver, he admitted to being employed by a human smuggling ring and was on his way from California to Texas to meet the employers. The driver, 39-year-old Jose Gallardo Ortiz from Mesquite, Texas, was arrested for conspiracy to commit human smuggling and money laundering, and is currently being held in the Yavapai County Jail.