Arrests made in drug and human smuggling ring on Tohono O'odham Nation

SELLS, AZ - After a two-month investigation, the Tohono O’odham Police Department announced Thursday that a task force's work led to the arrests of a dozen members of a major drug and human trafficking ring, officials say.

The investigation found an organization that had smuggled up to 600 kilograms of marijuana and 120 undocumented immigrants per month through the Tohono O’odham Nation into Tucson, officials say.

The main defendant had laundered $350,000 of illicit funds through financial institutions during the three years before the investigation, according to the Tohono O’odham Police Department.

The task force of agents from multiple enforcement groups found and seized 76 kilograms of marijuana, eight vehicles, two ATVs and $17,000 in cash after serving three search warrants in the case, officials say.

In total, there were 17 separate charges from the investigation, including conducting a criminal enterprise, conspiracy to transport marijuana and commit human smuggling, participating in a human smuggling ring, money laundering and use of wire communication in organized crime, among others, according to officials.

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