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The Department of Justice announced Thursday that it has arrested four Guatemalan human traffickers charged in the US as part of a “major” operation to “disrupt and dismantle an international human trafficking organization.”

The men, who were detained in the Central American country at the request of the US, are accused of “conspiring with other smugglers to facilitate the passage of large numbers of migrants from Guatemala through Mexico, charging the migrants and their families approximately $10,000 to 12,000 USD for the perilous journey that eventually made it to the United States.” ” prosecutors said.

“These recent arrests are the culmination of a year-long effort for international coordination and investigation into this widespread human smuggling operation,” US Attorney Ashley Hoff said in a statement. “This particular criminal organization trafficked a large number of immigrants from Guatemala, including a young woman who died during the smuggling and her body was mercilessly dumped by the smugglers in Crane County, Texas.”

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The Guatemalan Civil National Police patrols the indigenous municipality of El Estor in October 2021.

The Guatemalan Civil National Police patrols the indigenous municipality of El Estor in October 2021.
(Johan Ordonez/AFP via Getty Images)

The Justice Department said in August. 2 The Guatemalan National Civil Police executed 26 search warrants in Huehuetenango, El Quiche, Totonicapán, Upper and Lower Verapaz and arrested 19 people, including four fugitives wanted by the US.

They are Felipe Diego Alonzo, aka “Seven,” 38; Nestle Norberto Martinez Gomez, aka “Field,” 37; Lopez Matthew Matthew, aka “Bud Light,” 42; and John Gutierrez Castro, aka “Andrew,” 45 .

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“As a result of the search warrants, law enforcement seized 10 high-value motor vehicles, firearms and cash,” the Justice Department added.

US Attorney Ashley Hoff said Thursday that the arrests by Guatemalan police were "the culmination of a year-long effort for international coordination and investigation into this extensive human trafficking operation."

US Attorney Ashley Hoff said Thursday that the arrests by Guatemalan police were “the culmination of a year-long effort for international coordination and investigation into this extensive human trafficking operation.”

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Prosecutors also said “human smugglers targeted in this operation were allegedly responsible for the death of a young Guatemalan woman who died in Texas in April 2021.”

The US Department of Justice has requested the extradition of four human traffickers to US soil.

The US Department of Justice has requested the extradition of four human traffickers to US soil.
(Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images)

“Allegedly, the defendants and their co-conspirators drove her across the desert for several days to Odessa, Texas, where she eventually died,” the Justice Department said. “Upon learning of her death, the defendants and their co-conspirators quickly worked to dispose of the body and discarded it on the side of a country road in Crane County, Texas.”