LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A California man who had been deported faces eight felony counts of human smuggling after deputies stopped his vehicle on U.S. Highway 95, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.
Ricardo Escamilla, 53 of Huntington Park, California, was driving a black sport utility vehicle on the highway near Aztec Road in Fort Mohave, Arizona, at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday when deputies stopped him, according to a news release.
Because of dark tinted windows, deputies were not able to see inside the SUV. They heard voices inside and asked Escamilla to roll down the back window. He did not immediately comply, deputies said in the release, but when he did eight people were inside “trying to conceal themselves.”
The eight people in the SUV admitted they had entered the country illegally and that Escamilla had picked them up in Phoenix and was to drive them to California.
The release said a records check revealed that Escamilla also was in the United States illegally after being deported. The release did not have more details on his deportation.
Border Patrol Agents took custody of the eight people in the SUV, and a vehicle search revealed “a large amount of United States and Mexican currency,” the news release said.
Escamilla was arrested on the charges and taken to the Mohave County Adult Detention Facility in Kingman.