Thu, Jan. 23

Mexican charged with for 16 counts of human smuggling in modified vehicle

On April 22, at about 6:15 a.m., a Yavapai Sheriff's Office deputy stopped a green 1995 Dodge Ram pickup for speeding on the I-17 near Camp Verde. The deputy found that the driver, Edgar Ocampo, 28, was not licensed and was transporting 16 illegal aliens in the vehicle.

The deputy examined the vehicle and found six subjects in the truck's cab and 10 more in the cargo bed of the truck. Ocampo told the deputy that the passengers were his friends but he was unable to name anyone in the vehicle. He eventually admitted the passengers were here illegally from Mexico, like himself, and he was taking the group to Flagstaff to find work.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office was notified and after conducting a phone interview with Ocampo, authorized the detention of the 16 subjects and confirmed Ocampo was involved in human smuggling.

During a closer examination of the vehicle, the deputy found exposed wiring under the dashboard that connected to suspension components attached to the back of the vehicle. This modification allowed the driver to increase vehicle lift to compensate for the weight of humans stowed in the bed of the truck. The purpose of the modification is to reduce the chances of detection by law enforcement of an overweight vehicle on the roadway.

The 16 subjects were transported to the Camp Verde Jail facility to be held for by ICE officers. Ocampo was taken to the Camp Verde Jail and booked on 16 counts of human smuggling.

Child inspection also nets marijuana bust

PANT detectives assisting Child Protective Services inspecting an apartment at 101 S Sixth Street arrested two women on marijuana charges. Detectives smelled a strong odor of the weed as the front door to the apartment was opened. The state agency found an 11-month-old child in the apartment.

A consent search of the home turned up two ounces of marijuana packaged for sale, U.S. currency, scales and numerous items of paraphernalia.

Both women were arrested. Yolanda Susette Molina, 20 was charged with marijuana possession and use and child abuse. Jessica Maxine Pedialla Mohar, 21, was charged with possession and use of marijuana and possession for sale of marijuana in addition to child abuse.

The child was placed with a nearby family member.

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