Woman faces murder charge in deadly human smuggling case - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Woman faces murder charge in deadly human smuggling case

Posted: Updated:
Yolanda Banda (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) Yolanda Banda (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
  • NEWSMore>>

  • LaGrange woman hit by juvenile with cast iron skillet

    LaGrange woman hit with skillet by juvenile

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:15:06 GMT
    The LaGrange Police Department says an 88-year-old woman was struck in the head with a cast iron skillet by a male juvenile. Police say on July 27, at approximately 4:43 a.m., the Patrol Division respondedMore >>
    The LaGrange Police Department says an 88-year-old woman was struck in the head with a cast iron skillet by a male juvenile.More >>
  • Mom shoots at burglar trying to steal her car

    Mom shoots at burglar trying to steal her car

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:28 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:28:43 GMT
    A Columbus woman catches a man trying to steal her car and fires back literally. The car theft gone wrong happened late Friday evening. News Leader Nine's Tyrone McCoy caught up with the victim.More >>
    A Columbus woman catches a man trying to steal her car and fires back literally. The car theft gone wrong happened late Friday evening. News Leader Nine's Tyrone McCoy caught up with the victim.More >>
  • 2014 Columbus Idol competition in Uptown

    2014 Columbus Idol competition in Uptown

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:47:07 GMT
    Fox 54 and Q107.3 holding the 2014 Columbus Idol competition on Saturday, Aug. 2 on 11th St. in Uptown Columbus, Ga. American Idol hopefuls can win a chance to skip some of the preliminary stages in theMore >>
    Fox 54 and Q107.3 holding the 2014 Columbus Idol competition on Saturday, Aug. 2 on 11th St. in Uptown Columbus, Ga. American Idol hopefuls can win a chance to skip some of the preliminary stages in theMore >>
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A woman has been arrested on a murder charge in the death of an illegal immigrant who died in a human smuggling operation she allegedly orchestrated.

According to the probable cause statement, Pinal County sheriff's deputies were called to the Picacho Peak Dairy Queen by witnesses who reported seeing several people "falling out" of the back of a U-Haul moving van.

Deputies made contact with 12 illegal immigrants and the U.S. Border Patrol took nine of the people into custody and the other three were taken by medical helicopter to local hospitals for severe heat-related injuries.

Witnesses saw a man and woman get out of the front of the U-Haul. They were identified as Nathan Lamb and Elizabeth Key and they told deputies they were approached by a man on July 6 in North Phoenix who asked them to drive a rented U-Haul to Douglas, pick up people and take them back to Phoenix in exchange for money. They said the man gave them map of the route to avoid U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints.

According to the report, when they were near the Tucson area the people in the back of the van began to bang on the walls, telling the driver it was hot and they needed water.

PCSO said one of the people in the back of the van died on July 9 at University Medical Center in Tucson from heat-related injuries.

Detectives issued a search warrant at the U-Haul rental on July 12 and found a rental contract signed by Yolanda Banda, of Glendale, and a gas receipt in Douglas with Banda's credit card. Detectives learned Banda and her boyfriend, Gerad Punch, were smuggling illegal immigrants using rented U-Haul trucks.

Banda was arrested on Wednesday night at her home on North 19th Avenue in Phoenix.

Banda faces one count of second-degree murder, one count of human smuggling and one count of unlawful transport.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.