Toddler, baby safe after mom suspected of smuggling migrants led PCSO deputies on high-speed chase into Phoenix
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office says a woman accused of smuggling two migrants led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended in Phoenix. The suspect, 19-year-old Alma Rodriguez Dominguez, was taken into custody on Friday.
According to PCSO, deputies were attempting to stop the driver of a Dodge Charger that was driving carelessly on Interstate 10. That vehicle sped off and a pursuit started. Authorities say that a second car, a Hyundai, was driving next to the Charger and attempted to run a deputy vehicle off the road, initiating another chase.
Ultimately, deputies called off the chasing of the Charger but continued pursuing the Hyundai, reportedly driven by Dominguez, with speeds estimated above 100 miles per hour as they entered the Valley. Dominguez finally came to a stop at 7th Street and Osborn after spike strips were successfully deployed near the I-10 and the Loop 202 interchange.
Inside the vehicle, authorities found two suspected migrants along with the Dominguez’s five-month-old toddler and one-year-old child. Those migrants have now been turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) while the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) has taken custody of the children.
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said sometimes suspects use two vehicles in cases of human smuggling. “This is common, the smugglers use it all the time they either bring the drugs in one vehicle, the people in the other and sometimes people in both and sometimes the one is just a decoy vehicle,” Lamb explained.
He also went on to explain how young teens are being used for human smuggling. “What the cartels are doing is recruiting our youth and other folks to go down and pick up migrants and bring them back into Phoenix. They’re paying between $1,000 and $2,000 per person they pick up,” he said.
A PCSO spokesperson says Dominguez was booked into jail on aggravated assault, unlawful flight, endangerment, and child abuse charges.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story indicated a second woman was taken into custody. PCSO has clarified that the person was a passenger, and has now been turned over to ICE.
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