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Three U.S. citizens arrested for allegedly smuggling people through Tohono O'odham Nation

Three U.S. citizens were arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents for allegedly attempting to smuggle people through Arizona in two separate incidents on a road near the western edge of the Tohono O'odham Nation over the weekend, authorities said. 

On Friday evening, Ajo-area Border Patrol agents stopped a sedan on Federal Route 1 — a road that runs from the village of Ali Chuk near the U.S.-Mexico border north to Highway 86 — and arrested the driver after his five passengers, all dressed in camouflage clothing, were found to be in the country without authorization, said Rob Daniels, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

A photograph released by Daniels shows four men and one woman sitting on the ground. While the men are all wearing camouflage shirts and pants, the woman is wearing a blue hoodie and camouflage pants. A Border Patrol spokesman said the five were all Mexican nationals. 

The driver was identified only as a 37-year-old U.S. citizen. 

On Sunday, agents stopped an SUV carrying five people along the same road. The agents arrested the driver and his passenger after discovering that three other passengers were present in the country without authorization, Daniels said. 

The driver and passenger were identified only as U.S. citizens, ages 36 and 39. 

All eight passengers were processed for immigration violations, and the three U.S. citizens were charged with human smuggling, Daniels said. 

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A group of four Mexican nationals after they were apprehended when the driver of a sedan was stopped on Federal Route 1 on the western edge of the Tohono O'odham Nation.