Safford Police nab human smuggler who fled Border Patrol in Douglas

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Michael Reeve, 21, was booked into jail for human smuggling.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – A Safford officer nabbed a suspected human smuggler in the early morning hours of June 9 after stopping the suspect’s vehicle after it had made an improper turn. 

Michael Reeve, 21, was arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on three counts of smuggling and one count of participating in a human smuggling operation. Reeve was the second young adult caught attempting to smuggle humans through Graham County in the same week. 

According to a Safford Police report, the officer saw a westbound, red Kia Sorento turn right from the far left lane into a Speedway gas station just east of 20th Avenue at about 1:08 a.m.    

Upon contact, Reeve immediately raised red flags by not wanting the officer to speak to his front-seat passenger. At one point the officer reported Reeve told him it was “against his jurisdiction to talk to the passenger.”

Once an additional officer arrived and stayed with Reeve, the initial officer contacted the front seat passenger and at that time discovered two additional male passengers lying down in the back seat area with the back seats folded down while covered with a white sheet. 

Reeve was then arrested for smuggling but denied any wrongdoing and said he had just picked up some hitchhikers on his way from Douglas to Phoenix. 

According to the illegal immigrants, however, they had each paid $9,000 in Mexico to cross the border and were told to get into a vehicle that flashed its lights at them in Douglas. The immigrant said Reeve’s vehicle flashed its lights and they got inside the car.

Officers also were informed that the same Kia had failed to yield to Border Patrol agents in Douglas earlier in the evening. Border Patrol agents then took custody of the three illegal immigrants and Reeve was taken to jail.