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Officers from Gila County, the Town of Payson, and Border Patrol had their hands full as they searched, handcuffed and placed 15 people in vans before turning them over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities. The traffic stop occurred last Wednesday in the Chase Bank parking lot.

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Coyote smuggling 15 illegals also here illegally

A 27-year-old man arrested Wednesday for allegedly smuggling 15 illegal immigrants through Payson was released to custom officials. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials picked up Raul Lopez-Gomez Monday. Gomez was the only person booked on charges after a routine traffic stop near the Chase Bank Wednesday led to the discovery of a vanload of illegal immigrants.

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