Researchers who study how bodies decompose say deaths of migrants along the border are vastly undercounted.

A federal judge in Tucson sentenced the final member of a marijuana drug-trafficking organization to 21 months in prison. 

Arturo Tellez Berrelleza, a 32-year-old Mexican citizen was sentenced Wednesday by Judge James A. Soto in U.S. District Court, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

Tellez was the last of 18 people arrested in a multi-agency investigation of marijuana drug-smuggling on the Tohono O'odham reservation, the news release said. The smuggling organization relied on scouts to guide backpacking groups past law enforcement. At one point, a smuggler tried to hide near a cliff and pushed a Border Patrol agent close to the edge of the cliff. 

Since the investigation began in late 2015, authorities seized about 12,000 pounds of marijuana. The 18 members of the smuggling organization received sentences up to 37 months in prison. 

 

 

Contact Curt at 573-4224 or cprendergast@tucson.com