Alleged smuggler arrested
Posted on Thursday, May 8, 2008
BENTONVILLE — Benton County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a man for human smuggling after stopping a van containing 12 Mexican nationals, according to Capt. Mike Sydoriak, head of the criminal investigation division for the Sheriff’s Office. At 11: 20 p. m. Tuesday, Corey Coggin, a crime-suppression deputy, was working criminal highway interdiction when he stopped a white Dodge van on Interstate 540 near the Washington County line, Sydoriak said. The driver said he was lost and on his way to Tennessee from southern Arizona, Sydoriak said. Other crime-suppression deputies arrived on the scene, and after a brief investigation, the driver — Osvaldo Cruz — was arrested for human smuggling. Cruz admitted he was being paid to take the undocumented people to predetermined locations across the United States, including Memphis, Chicago, Pennsylvania and Virginia, Sydoriak said. According to an incident report, Coggin stopped the van after noticing an unofficial license plate. Coggin observed numerous people packed into the back of the van with every seat taken and some people on the floor, the incident report states. Coggin also observed jugs of water sitting behind the driver’s seat, according to the report.
Cruz handed Coggin a notebook with a map drawn on one side and a list of names with cities and states, the incident report states. Cruz was asked to open the back door of the van, according to the report. When the door opened, three men were lying in the floor area behind the back seats.
Deputies learned the occupants of the van had crossed the U. S. border at or near Douglas, Ariz.
The individuals were taken into custody and transported to the Benton County Jail by local officers assigned to the 287 (g ) program. The van also was seized and taken to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. Doug Gay, BCSO public information deputy, said the case is now in the hands of federal authorities. Human smuggling is a federal charge.
Here's a story that I suspect has to do with illegal immigrants.