Nov 14, 2012 4:41 PM by Ian Cross

Exotic dancer from Tucson arrested with 6 illegal immigrants in car

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - On Friday, An exotic dancer from Tucson was arrested on six counts of Human Smuggling after a Pinal County Sheriff's Office deputy pulled her over and found six Hispanic men who admitted they were not U.S. citizens.

At about 8:19 p.m. Friday, the deputy stopped the minivan, driven by 33-year-old Maria Bustamante, on westbound Interstate 10 near Eloy for traffic violations, according to a news release from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office. Bustamante produced her Arizona I.D. card and a Permanent Resident Alien card, and inside the vehicle were six Hispanic men who were "acting very nervous," according to the release.

Bustamante told the deputy she was giving her friends a ride from Tucson to Phoenix, but when questioned further, she could not give the names of the men in the car. One man said he was headed to California, and when asked if they were U.S. citizens, all men shook their heads and said no, the release states.

The individuals were interviewed one at a time, and most admitted to being in the U.S. illegally and paying the driver for the ride, the release states. Some admitted to previous illegal entries into the U.S., and one man admitted to smuggling marijuana in prior trips.

Bustamante told the deputy that her friend asked her to give the six men a ride, and she had planned to drop them off in Phoenix and keep driving to Texas, where the father of her children is currently in jail. She admitted to knowing the six men were in the U.S. illegally.

All six men were turned over the Border Patrol, and Maria Bustamante was booked into the Pinal County Jail for six counts of Human Smuggling.

Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, "My deputies continue to do their job attempting to stop those who are involved with drug and human smuggling from traveling freely through the United States."

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