PHOENIX – An employee of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was arrested on charges she allowed her Arizona home to be used as a hideout for undocumented immigrants smuggled across the border from Mexico, authorities said.
Stella Peterson, 51, was detained Aug. 31 after three migrants were found inside her home in the border town of Douglas, ICE spokeswoman Amber Cargile told Efe.
The ICE employee’s son, Anthony Peterson, was also arrested.
Peterson performed clerical and administrative tasks for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit in Douglas, the spokeswoman said.
ICE is cooperating with the investigation and Peterson will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the probe, Cargile said.
Stella Peterson joined ICE’s precursor, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in July 1991.
She admitted knowing that her son used the house to harbor undocumented immigrants, according to court documents.
The three migrants found in Peterson’s home told authorities that after paying smugglers between $2,000 and $3,000 each to be brought into the United States, they gave Anthony Peterson $100 for transporting them from the desert to the safe house. EFE