A suspected human smuggler is awaiting trial in Mohave Superior Court after his arrest by Lake Havasu City Police officers this June.
When Lake Havasu City Police officers stopped 38-year-old Tulsa resident Martin A. Ozura Carrillo in late June, he allegedly told them that he, his girlfriend and her 2-year-old child were making a trip to California, to visit her family. They had been dating for about a year, Carrillo allegedly told officers, and she didn’t speak English.
Havasu police officers were participating in a multi-agency special operation on June 26, during which officers were tasked with conducting traffic stops with the goal of identifying would-be drug and human traffickers. According to the Lake Havasu City Police Department, Carrillo seemed suspicious after a previous encounter with police earlier that day. Officers had been monitoring Carrillo as he traveled West on Interstate 40 toward California, and ultimately stopped him due to a cracked windshield and an air freshener that may have potentially obstructed his view.
Officers at the scene gave Carrillo a written warning for the cracked windshield and air freshener, and told Martin that he was free to leave … but they had only one more question.
Police asked Carrillo to consent to a search of his vehicle, to which he allegedly agreed.
According to the police report, officers found a large amount of luggage in Carrillo’s vehicle, containing clothing only for Carrillo’s female companion and her daughter. The amount of clothing and personal items within the luggage suggested a lengthy stay or even a permanent move, rather than a short vacation, the report said.
Police say several boxes of .380 caliber ammunition were also found within the vehicle, as well as a digital scale.
Also found was a camera case containing several sets of car keys and five Social Security cards that belonged to neither Carrillo nor his passenger, as well as 11 credit cards and passports under various names – also belonging to neither Carrillo nor his passenger. According to police, Carrillo also had a false ID inside his wallet.
Special agents from the United States Border Patrol were called to the scene to speak with Carrillo’s passenger.
Carrillo allegedly told police that the false ID was bought from a “funny store,” and he bought it as a joke. He allegedly said he found the scale, and that he had been trying to repair it for some time. He also told officers he and his girlfriend had known each other for a long time, and that he met her on Facebook.
According to the report, Carrillo did not appear to know his passenger’s actual name when asked, nor that of her daughter.
According to police, Carrillo later changed his story, stating that he and his companion were friends who met on facebook. She was breaking up with her boyfriend, he allegedly told officers, and she was moving to California. Carrillo allegedly told police that none of his own clothing was present in the vehicle because he was planning to buy new clothing in Los Angeles.
Border Patrol agents spoke with Carrillo’s companion, who allegedly admitted to being in the United States illegally. According to the report, she told agents that her child was a legal U.S. citizen. She was on her way to stay with her aunt, and allegedly told them she was Carrillo’s girlfriend. According to the report, she did not know his last name, and knew him only as “Marty.”
She later recanted her account, the report says, and admitted she had only just met Carrillo recently. She allegedly told Border Patrol agents that she had paid Carrillo $250 to transport her to California.
As officers waited for Carrillo’s vehicle to be towed from the scene, another civilian vehicle pulled to the side of the highway nearby. Its occupants emerged and approached police, the report said. They identified themselves as the aunt and uncle of Carrillo’s passenger, and said she had texted them during the traffic stop. They allegedly said they wanted to make sure that the passenger was alright.
Officers questioned Carrillo a second time, and he allegedly admitted he and his passenger were not in a relationship. According to the report, Carrillo denied any knowledge of the passports, credit cards and identification cards found in his vehicle.
Carrillo was arrested on felony charges of identity theft and human smuggling for profit. He remained in custody at Mohave County Jail as of Wednesday on $50,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Mohave County Superior Court on Sept. 3 for a pre-trial conference, where he will be represented by the Mohave County Public Defender’s Office.
Carrillo’s passenger and her daughter were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents at the scene.