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Press Release

70-Year-Old Human Smuggler Sentenced to 45 Months in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. – Michael Ortiz, 70, of Tucson, Arizona was sentenced by United States District Judge Raner C. Collins on August 29, 2023, to 33 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Ortiz pleaded guilty to Transportation of Illegal Aliens for Profit. Ortiz also was sentenced to 12 months of consecutive imprisonment for violating conditions of his federal supervised release, which was imposed for the defendant’s 2018 alien smuggling conviction.

On July 21, 2022, Ortiz was encountered by United States Border Patrol agents while transporting four individuals who were illegally in the United States. Ortiz failed to yield to agents, traveled at speeds of 90 miles-per-hour, and evaded law enforcement for approximately 30 minutes. He was apprehended after his vehicle became stuck near a wash on a dirt road.

Customs and Border Protection’s U.S. Border Patrol conducted the investigation in this case. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:           CR 22-01803-TUC-RCC
                                        CR 18-00360-TUC-RCC
                                        CR 13-01304-TUC-RCC
RELEASE NUMBER:    2023-131_Ortiz

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Public Affairs
Zach J. Stoebe
Telephone:  (602) 514-7413

Updated September 6, 2023

Human Smuggling
Press Release Number: 2023-131_Ortiz