Cops: Smuggler arrested in Avon; 11 illegal immigrants detained |

Cops: Smuggler arrested in Avon; 11 illegal immigrants detained

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado ” An illegal immigrant accused of transporting 11 other illegal immigrants on Interstate 70 through Avon was arrested Thursday morning.

Esqaiel Casares Montiel, 22, of Mexico, was heading east to Chicago with eight men and three women in a Chevrolet minivan when he was pulled over by Avon Police about 9:30 a.m., said Chief Brian Kozak of the Avon Police Department.

Someone saw the crowded minivan and reported it to police, Kozak said. The tires were almost flat from all the weight and two people were lying under one of the rear seats in the minivan that was designed to hold seven people, Kozak said.

The passengers, all from Mexico, paid a person in their country and were given instructions on how to cross the border and how to meet with Montiel at a gas station in Phoenix, Kozak said.

Montiel was arrested on suspicion of human smuggling and forgery, both felonies, and reckless endangerment and driving without a license, Kozak said. He is being held in Eagle County jail, Kozak said.

Montiel also gave police a Mexican driver’s license under his brother’s name, Kozak said.

The other illegal immigrants, who planned to look for jobs in Chicago, were detained in Glenwood Springs by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Kozak said.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 970-748-2931 or

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