A detective with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's Human Smuggling Unit was hit in the mouth by a suspect he was trying to arrest Wednesday night.
An investigation led detectives to stop a van in northern Maricopa County that was transporting more than one dozen border violators through Arizona, MCSO said.
When the van came to a stop on the shoulder of the road, detectives reported that between eight to 10 men and one woman took off running into the desert. Those suspects remain at large.
Detectives attempted to apprehend the remaining five suspects in the van. One of those suspects punched a detective in the mouth, sheriff's authorities said.
Detectives said they learned that the suspects had paid up to $7,000 to be illegally smuggled in the U.S. The suspects were headed to New York, New Jersey and Florida.
One suspect claimed to be a Mexican national and two others said they were Guatemalan nationals. Among the group was a 15 year-old boy from Guatemala, who was turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol.
Four suspects were booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on felony state charges related to human smuggling. Jose Lozano-Jimenez, 27, was additionally booked for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
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