ARIZONA, USA — Attorney General Mark Brnovich is warning Arizonans about a dangerous new trend allegedly happening at the southern border.
Brnovich said the trend involves drivers, including Arizona teenagers, transporting undocumented immigrants for drug cartels in “load cars.”
Brnovich said the drivers, who are being recruited on social media, are being offered up to $2,000 for each person picked up at the border and then driven north to a specific location.
The deal is attracting people from the Valley and men and women of all ages and from out of state, who come to Arizona to cash in on the commute for the cartel, the Attorney General said.
Brnovich said his office is working with "Operation Safe Streets," a task force that includes local, state, and federal agencies, to crack down on human smuggling and the reckless driving that often occurs when drivers try to get away.
The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said there are about 1,000 smugglers a month coming to the border. CCSO said the task force stops two to 10 load cars a day, which sometimes results in dangerous or deadly high-speed pursuits that put Arizonans at risk.
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said undocumented immigrants are turned over to Border Patrol and nearly all of the load cars are impounded.
Load drivers face various charges, including kidnapping, unlawful fleeing and failure to yield. Nearly all of the drivers stopped are U.S. citizens, officials said.
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