Phoenix woman who ran Avondale stash house for migrants pleads guilty

A 43-year-old Phoenix woman who admitted supervising a stash house for migrants who entered the U.S. illegally awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to a human smuggling charge.

A Feb. 1 sentencing is set in federal court in Tucson for Amalia Gonzalez-Lara on her guilty plea Thursday to one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor migrants who are in the country illegally.

The conspiracy charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. But a plea agreement between Gonzalez-Lara and federal prosecutors said a sentence of 4.75 years would be the maximum she should face under federal guidelines.

The plea agreement said federal agents found 20 migrants, all from Mexico or Guatemala, inside a home in the Phoenix suburb of Avondale on Jan. 12 and that the migrants had been transported through southern Arizona en route to metro Phoenix.

Gonzalez-Lara admitted in the plea agreement that she "managed and coordinated stash house and transportation operations for at least 100 illegal aliens."

A co-conspirator, Sergio Vazquez-Flores, 46, of Goodyear, faces a Jan. 25 sentencing after pleading guilty to the same conspiracy charge on Nov. 5.

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