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IIMPACT Investigation Conducted in Phoenix-Avondale Rescues 10 & Arrest 6

Thursday, January 14, 2010 -

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On Wednesday, January 13, 2010, Detectives from the Illegal Immigration Prevention and Apprehension Co-op Team (IIMPACT) arrested six suspects and rescued 10 undocumented aliens being held against their will in Avondale and Phoenix.

The Phoenix Police Department conducted a “check welfare” around 9:40 A.M. resulting from information received from a 9-1-1 phone call. The information led officers to check the address of 4713 West Vernon Avenue, in Phoenix. At that address officers located 11 individuals inside of the residence. After initial interviews were conducted it was determined the individuals were undocumented aliens and eight of them stated they had been held against their will at that address and also at another location. The Phoenix PD Officers requested the assistance of the IIMPACT Unit.

IIMPACT Detectives arrived and conducted an investigation which uncovered that eight of the 11 individuals were victims being held against their will at that residence and remaining three were identified as suspects. The eight victims advised they were previously being held at another residence where they were threatened, intimidated through the use of a large knife and guns and some were beaten by a baseball bat and wooden dowels.

During the investigation detectives obtained valuable information through the interview of the victims which lead them to identify the first residence where the victims were held against their will and where the threats, intimidation and beatings occurred. The detectives verified the information and obtained a search warrant for the single family residence located at 3715 North 105th Driver in Avondale. Around 5:00 PM, entry was conducted on the Avondale residence by personnel from the DPS Special Operations Unit (SOU). Five individuals were found inside the residence, all identified as undocumented aliens. Two of them were identified as victims being held against their will and the other three were identified as suspects who were serving as the guards to prevent the escape of the two victims. IIMPACT Detectives were able to determine from their investigation that the residence in Avondale was the location were the beatings and threats occurred.

The undocumented aliens initially paid $3,000 each to be brought into the United States from Mexico with the intended destination of California. The suspects used the physical beatings, threats and intimidation in order to get an additional $500.00 from each of the victims or they would not be taken to California.

At the residence located in Avondale, IIMPACT Detectives found several weapons consisting of two handguns, large knife, baseball bat and wooden dowels that were used to conduct the threats, intimidation and the physical beatings. Also, a ledger was seized which contained information relevant to the human smuggler operation.

Two of the victims received medical treatment. One for injuries sustained from the beatings and the other for medical problems not connected with the beatings. All ten of the undocumented aliens that were listed as victims were interviewed then turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for disposition on federal charges of illegal entry into the United States.

The six suspects were booked into the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail for Human Smuggling, Kidnapping, Extortion, Assault and Operating a Criminal Conspiracy.

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IIMPACT is an acronym that stands for Illegal Immigration Prevention and Apprehension Co-op Teams and is a multi-agency project, managed by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). The detectives are comprised of personnel from Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), Phoenix Police Department and DPS.

The mission of IIMPACT is to deter, disrupt, and dismantle criminal organizations profiting from illegal immigration. The multi-agency squads conduct investigations related to property theft, financial and fraudulent schemes along with violent crimes associated with illegal immigration and human smuggling such as kidnapping, extortion and assault.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.