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Press Release

Three Human Smuggling Organizers Sentenced to a Combined 100 Months of Incarceration

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

TUCSON, Ariz. – Ramon Villalobos-Lopez, 45, of Mexico, was sentenced last week by United States District Judge Rosemary Márquez to 46 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Márquez previously sentenced co-defendants Javier Garcia-Mondragon, 37, of Mexico, and Daniel Lopez-Guerra, 24, of Mexico, each to a term of 27 months in prison. All three previously pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Transport and Harbor Illegal Aliens for Profit. 

In April 2021, special agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – Nogales began surveilling vehicles identified as being used for human smuggling and subsequently identified a stash house. On May 14, 2021, a search warrant was executed at the residence where agents found 54 undocumented noncitizens inside. Agents also found notebooks containing written entries indicating hundreds of undocumented noncitizens had been brought to the residence after illegally crossing into the United States. Garcia-Mondragon and Lopez-Guerra were identified as individuals in charge of the stash house, while Villalobos-Lopez was identified as a leader and organizer of the operation. 

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.

HSI – Nogales Office conducted the investigation in this case. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:            CR 21-1323-TUC-RM
RELEASE NUMBER:    2022-226_Villalobos-Lopez et al.

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Updated December 20, 2022

Press Release Number: 2022-226_Villalobos-Lopez et al.