Twelve suspects were arrested in two separate human smuggling operations conducted by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
MCSO's Human Smuggling Unit turned 10 of the 12 suspects over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement after drivers of two vehicles appeared to be involved in human smuggling, deputies said.
Sheriff's detectives said they determined five minors were not related to the adults in the vehicles and were traveling unaccompanied. The children ranged in ages from seven to 17. The children and one adult claimed to be from Guatemala, deputies said. The remaining suspects claimed to be Mexican nationals.
All of the suspects paid up to $500 to be illegally smuggled into the U.S., sheriff's investigators said. Destinations were Prescott and Los Angeles.
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