WaTimes: An AK-47-toting man smuggling illegal immigrants opened fire on ICE agents in Phoenix last week, sparking a shootout that left another member of his smuggling gang dead, according to court documents detailing the latest episode in what authorities say is growing violence in the illegal immigrant economy.
The incident has drawn scant national attention, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and federal prosecutors have been tight with details, saying the April 11 shootout is still under investigation.
But the picture that emerges from the court documents is of an abusive immigration-smuggling gang running a stash house on an Indian reservation that spans the border, preying off the misery of migrants whom they kidnapped and extorted for money before delivering to their destinations.
Authorities were tipped to the gang when one of the migrants, who’d wasn’t a client but whom the gang kidnapped just after he snuck across the border, managed to escape through a window and flagged down a police officer.
As agents from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations worked to roll up the smuggling ring, they encountered some of its members apparently making a run to California carrying two illegal immigrant customers.
When agents tried to make a traffic stop on the gang’s Chevrolet Trailblazer the SUV sped off, plowing through other cars and smashing one ICE vehicle into a wall, according to the court documents. more here