Immigrant Smuggler Receives 57 Years Prison Sentence
Paulino Rios Ledesma, 41, of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, was sentenced to 57 years in federal prison Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Frank R. Zapata. On April 15, 2010, a federal jury found Rios-Ledesma guilty for his role in holding 31 people hostage at a drop house in Tucson. Following a four-day trial, the jury found Rios-Ledesma guilty on 10 criminal counts.
On March 31, 2009, Tucson Police Department officers responded to a report that 30 to 40 illegal aliens were being held hostage at a suspected drop house by individuals who had an AK-47 assault rifle. Police determined that five of these individuals were responsible for holding the aliens hostage including Rios-Ledesma, Victor Sauceda-Parra, Jaime Figueroa-Lopez, Martin Chavarrin- Serrano, and Jesus Manuel Quinones-Camacho. Individuals inside the drop house stated they had been at the residence between four and 15 days, and when they arrived , their property, identification and shoes were taken from them by the “coyotes.” Upon further investigation, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recovered several items in the house, including a MAK-90 assault rifle and other high-powered weapons and ammunition. The defendants used these weapons to threaten aliens who complained about the increased smuggling fees.