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Press Release

Chandler Man Sentenced to 30 Months for Alien Smuggling in Southern Arizona

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

TUCSON, Ariz. – Michael Andrew Nelson, 30, of Chandler, Arizona, was sentenced Tuesday, January 10, 2023, by United States District Judge Scott H. Rash to 30 months in prison, followed by 36 months of supervised release. Nelson was convicted of Conspiracy to Transport Illegal Aliens for Profit and Transportation of Illegal Aliens for Profit following a bench trial held on August 10, 2022.

On November 14, 2021, U.S. Border Patrol agents, near Naco, Arizona, observed a heavily weighted down Jeep Patriot driving suspiciously in and out of a national park area. During a subsequent stop, five undocumented noncitizens were removed from the backseat and cargo areas of the SUV. Nelson was the front seat passenger, and co-defendant, Michelle Wilson, was the driver. The five undocumented noncitizens each indicated they paid substantial sums of money to smugglers in Mexico in exchange for transportation to various cities within the United States. 

Co-defendant Michelle Wilson pleaded guilty in December 2021. She is scheduled for sentencing on April 10, 2023, before Judge Rash.

United States Border Patrol agents from Bisbee, Arizona, conducted the investigation in this case. Assistant United States Attorneys Micah Schmit and Kevin Schiff, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:            CR-21-3127-TUC-SHR (BGM)
RELEASE NUMBER:    2023-003_Nelson et al.

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Updated January 12, 2023

Press Release Number: 2023-003_Nelson et al.