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Safford Police nab human smuggler who fled Border Patrol in Douglas

Photo Courtesy/Credit: GCSO: Michael Reeve, 21, was incarcerated on human trafficking charges.

by John Johnson

Safford – Police officers in Safford apprehended a suspected smuggler in the early hours of June 9 after stopping the suspect’s vehicle for an improper turn.

Michael Reeve, 21, was arrested on three counts of smuggling and one count of participating in a human smuggling operation and was held at the Graham County Adult Detention Center. Reeve became the second young man arrested for trying to smuggle a human through Graham County that same week.

According to the Safford police report, officers saw a westbound red Kia Sorento turn right from the far left lane into a gas station on the speedway just east of 20th Street around 1:08 a.m. It is said that

When contacted, Reeve immediately raised a red flag, saying he didn’t want the police to talk to the passenger in the passenger seat. At one point, officers reported that Reeve said it was “against his jurisdiction to speak to passengers.”

After additional police officers arrived and were with Reeve, the first contacted the passenger in the passenger seat, at which time two additional male passengers were placed in the rear seat area covered by white sheets. I found him lying with his seat down.

Reeve was later arrested on smuggling charges, but denied any wrongdoing and said he had just picked up a few hitchhikers on his way from Douglas to Phoenix.

But illegal immigrants said they each paid $9,000 to cross the border in Mexico and were told to get into a car with flashing lights in Douglas. Migrants said Reeve’s car flashed its lights and got into the car.

Officers were also informed that the same Kia did not give way to border agents in Douglas earlier in the evening. Border Patrol then detained three illegal immigrants, and Reeve was sent to prison.

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