Travel Agency Investigations ARIZONA STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFTEY PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT Travel Agency Investigation
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DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFTEY
PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Phoenix area has long been recognized by law enforcement as a location favored by human smugglers to house illegal aliens until they can be moved to their final destinations.
The obvious airport to move the UDA’s should be Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix.
However this investigation has revealed that the UDAs are not being flown out of Phoenix but are being transported approximately 300 miles to Las Vegas.
On February 17, 2006 Detectives from the State of Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force watched several subjects receive money from a Western Union remitter store.
February 17, 2006
Traffic stop conducted on the Van:
Van had 1 coyote and 6 undocumented aliens
Investigation led back to 13006 W Peoria Avenue
30 undocumented aliens and 5 coyote’s found inside of the house
Invoices found for 25 airline tickets purchased from Apricus TravelAgency located at 4041 E Thomas Road in Phoenix, AZ
The Airline Tickets
February 23, 2006 a Search Warrant was served on Apricus Travel Agency
Apricus Travel Agency
Average Phoenix Metropolitan Travel Agency Business
How Bad is the Problem?
Airline Reporting Agency
Detective’s obtained subpoenaed information from ARC and Southwest Airlines that resulted in investigations at 5 travel agencies for possible facilitators of human smuggling.
SKY HARBOR AIRPORT
Examples: Type of ID’s, how many people to bring to the airport, which airport to use, what type of flight to book (direct vs layovers)
The Undercover Investigations
U/C Detective previously showed the list of names and flights to the travel agent (defendant). He had stated to her that some subjects on the list had been arrested by Immigration.
Defendant = That’s so awful huh, when they get them.
U/C=Yeah, tomorrow, tomorrow a bunch are coming in.
Defendant = Yeah
U/C = Yeah
Defendant = So where are they crossing from?
U/C = From Sasabe
Defendant = Oh, but how many hours does
it take to walk through there?
U/C = No, it’s about 2 nights
4344 W Indian School
Defendant = In January, the sister of a brother-n-law, they tried crossing her from different locations at the border, she started on the 5th of January, and she didn’t get across until the 10th of February. They got her three times.
U/C = Yeah, that happens.
Defendant = They tried from…I think that was the only place they didn’t try was from Sasabe.
Mundo Travel, 3620 E Thomas Road
7 months 733 $188,799
*To minimize their competition, Apricus Travel reported to ARC that Mundo Travel was operating 3 branches in Phoenix that were not licensed by ARC.
Substitute Assets- per contract, parent companies areresponsible for the acts of their branches.
Requesting judgments through the AZ Supreme Court for a total of $5.3 Million in substitute assets.
Planet Travel, 5233 S Central Avenue
3 years 3,479 $771,458
Acupulco Travel, 4344 W Indian School Rd
3 years 1,855 $412,787
Marina Tours, 7035 S Central Avenue
535 E Southern, Mesa
3 years 216 $61,073
Apricus Travel, 4041 E Thomas Road
2 years 14,833 $3,094,623