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“Tucan” of Phoenix Human Smuggling Ring Receives More Than Seven Years in Prison

“Tucan” of Phoenix Human Smuggling Ring Receives More Than Seven Years in Prison

Phoenix, AZ: In an effort to curb illegal immigration, officials in Arizona handed down a 7½-year prison term to Martin Garcia-Velazquez, the infamous ringleader of a human smuggling network, on March 15.

Garcia-Velazquez, 42, more often known as “Tucan,” pled guilty to a conspiracy charge in September 2023, admitting that he helped harbor and transport at least 1,000 unauthorized immigrants.

The charges against him included conspiring to smuggle and harbor illegal immigrants for financial gain, according to ABC15.

In addition to his jail time, Garcia-Velazquez must pay a $5,000 special assessment and serve 36 months of supervised release, both of which he refuses to do.

He used his organization to bring in a flood of people from the Mexican border to Phoenix, Arizona, and he used their hopes and goals to enrich himself financially.

Several state and federal agencies were involved in the massive law enforcement operation that led to the disclosure of the detail, as reported by KTAR News.

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Three other co-conspirators were also brought to justice for their involvement in the murky smuggling syndicate, in addition to Garcia-Velazquez. The three individuals found guilty of facilitating the cross-border sale of human lives—Jesus Torres-Aguilera, Elmer René Del Cid Santos, and Angelico Roa-Joachin—received sentences that varied. As they disrupted the operation, law enforcement was able to recover vehicles, firearms, ammo, and over $1 million.

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