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Press Release

Coordinator and Money Middleman Indicted for Conspiracy to Transport and Harbor Undocumented Non-Citizens

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

TUCSON, Ariz. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment last week against Juan Manuel Soto-Guzman, 41, of Mexico, and Adulfo Soto-Guzman, 45, of Mexico, for conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens for profit.

The complaint alleges, in part, that an investigation identified Juan Manuel Soto-Guzman, as a person involved in a conspiracy to transport undocumented non-citizens (UNCs) for profit. J. Soto-Guzman was identified as a UNC smuggling coordinator, responsible for coordinating the transportation and harboring of UNCs and housing them in Phoenix, Arizona, before coordinating their transportation to their final destinations within the United States.

Adulfo Soto-Guzman also was identified as a member of the conspiracy. The complaint alleges that he was responsible for delivering money to other co-conspirators to pay load drivers and finance human smuggling activities within this organization. Many of the UNCs had crossed the border from Mexico, and were transported through Southern Arizona to stash houses in Phoenix, Arizona, as they waited for further transportation within the United States.  

During the course of the investigation, agents seized over 20 notebooks containing ledgers detailing human smuggling, cash payments due, and cellphones previously identified as being used by this organization.

A conviction for conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This prosecution resulted from the coordinated efforts of Joint Task Force Alpha (JTFA). The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona is part of JTFA, which was established by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in June 2021 to marshal the investigative and prosecutorial resources of the Department of Justice, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to enhance U.S. enforcement efforts against the most prolific and dangerous human smuggling and trafficking groups operating in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. The Task Force focuses on disrupting and dismantling smuggling and trafficking networks that abuse, exploit, or endanger migrants, pose national security threats, and are involved in organized crime.

The investigation in this case was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)–Douglas Office, with the assistance of HSI-Phoenix, Enforcement and Removal Operations-Phoenix and United States Border Patrol-Sonoita. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson, is handling the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:           CR 23-0386-TUC-RM
RELEASE NUMBER:    2023- 045_Soto-Guzman

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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/
Follow the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, on Twitter @USAO_AZ for the latest news.

Contact

Public Affairs
Diana L. Varela
(602) 514-7743
diana.varela@usdoj.gov

 

Updated March 29, 2023

Topic
Human Smuggling
Press Release Number: 2023-045_Soto-Guzman