EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A driver who allegedly turned into a Burger King drive-thru to avoid the U.S. Border Patrol is facing migrant smuggling charges in Arizona.
A federal grand jury on Wednesday charged Anthony Joseph Moncivaiz with one count of conspiracy and two counts of transporting unauthorized non-citizens for profit in connection with an Oct. 19 incident off U.S. Highway 92 in Bisbee.
Court records show a U.S. Border Patrol agent on duty in Cochise County, Ariz., observed three individuals dressed in camouflage approach a neighborhood 4 miles north of the border wall. The group walked toward a car on a street at the edge of the neighborhood and got in. The agent followed the vehicle to Highway 92 and watched the driver pull into the fast-food restaurant while the passengers attempted to conceal themselves in the back seat.
Records show several agents arrived, conducted the stop, and ordered the driver of the 2009 Toyota Camry to come out with his hands up. The driver, later identified Moncivaiz, told the agents he had a gun in the vehicle; the agents secured a Glock 9mm pistol with no registered owner from the Toyota.
Border agents apprehended three unauthorized migrants in camouflage who were part of a larger group that came over the border wall, records show. Two of the unauthorized non-citizens who paid up to $9,000 to be smuggled into the U.S. are being held as material witnesses in the case.
In addition to the gun, border agents found a cellphone in the Toyota. A consensual search of the device yielded maps pointing to a location known to Border Patrol to be a pick-up point for unauthorized migrants, and photos of the suspect “flaunting large amounts of money,” according to court records.
Moncivaiz appeared for arraignment on Monday in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in Tucson.