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Deadly shooting leads to human smuggling bust at El Mirage home, police say

<i>El Mirage Police/KTVK</i><br/>Police say three people
Lawrence, Nakia
El Mirage Police/KTVK
Police say three people

By Web staff

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    EL MIRAGE, Arizona (KTVK) — Police say three people, including a teen boy, have been arrested after a deadly shooting led to the discovery of human smuggling at an El Mirage home on Saturday afternoon.

Around 5:15 p.m., a group of four armed people broke into a home near El Mirage Road and Ventura Street, just north of Thunderbird Road. They were confronted, and a 16-year-old boy shot and killed a man, officers said. The victim hasn’t been identified. The other three took off and haven’t been found.

Police arrived and said they found the boy, his mom and the homeowner, 60-year-old Carmen Rivas Fernandez, 44-year-old Braulio Mariscal Hernandez and four human smuggling victims. According to court documents, one victim told police he was forced to come into the U.S. and paid large amounts of money once in the country. The victim also told police he feared for his safety as he was being held hostage, court papers say. According to police, two other victims said they were smuggled from Guatemala and Ecuador to Mexico and then to the El Mirage home. It’s unclear where the fourth person was from.

Detectives searched the home and found walkie-talkies and cellphones with names and amounts of money taped onto them. According to court papers, the 16-year-old admitted to helping hide people in the country illegally. Fernandez gets her rent paid plus an additional $100 by the main person in the organization, detectives said. Court papers say Hernandez told officers he was also involved in the human smuggling ring and used Fernandez’s car to drive the smuggled migrants to other states. The boy was arrested on charges including second-degree murder, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment and more. Fernandez and Hernandez were booked into jail on charges including unlawful imprisonment, participating in a criminal syndicate and human smuggling. Hernandez also faces a kidnapping charge.

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