Phoenix drop house operator sentenced to prison - Tucson News Now

Phoenix drop house operator sentenced to prison

PHOENIX, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A convicted human stash house operator faces more than 8 years in prison after two illegals transported by his operation died in a rollover accident.

Authorities said 26-year-old Diego DeLeon Chavez harbored illegal aliens in a human stash house in Phoenix throughout July, in addition to coordinating the receipt of smuggling fees and the transportation of illegal aliens to other parts of the country.

He was sentenced on Oct. 21 to 97 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release.

Police said Chavez's operation was transporting illegal aliens when the vehicle rolled over, ejecting two Guatemalan nationals who died on scene. Thirteen illegal aliens inside the vehicle survived the crash, including the driver, Israel Velasquez, and his unidentified co-driver.

Velasquez reportedly fled the scene but police apprehended him four days later outside another Phoenix stash house, officials said.

Velasquez pleaded guilty on July 25 to conspiracy to harbor and transport illegal aliens, resulting in death. His sentence was pending.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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