Arizona county to drop appeal in smuggling case - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Arizona county to drop appeal in smuggling case

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By JACQUES BILLEAUD
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - County officials have agreed to drop an appeal of a ruling that bars authorities in metropolitan Phoenix from charging immigrants who paid to be sneaked into the country with conspiring to smuggle themselves into the country.

Ten months ago, a judge prohibited county authorities from using the contentious tactic that expanded the reach of Arizona's smuggling law.

The tactic led to complaints that the statute was intended for smugglers, not their customers.

Maricopa County officials agreed Wednesday to a settlement that calls for the county to drop its appeal in exchange for paying $675,000 in attorney fees for the lawyers who challenged the tactic.

In exchange, the lawyers who brought the case agreed to drop an appeal that sought to invalidate more than 1,000 convictions brought against smuggling customers.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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