Tucson resident Sunshine Michelle Betters, 47, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by United States District Judge Jennifer G. Zipps for transportation of undocumented individuals, and a resulting death.

In addition, Betters was sentenced to an additional 11 months imprisonment for violating her federal supervised release following a prior conviction in which she was also transporting migrants.

The incident, which occurred on June 3, 2021, resulted in the death of a Guatemalan citizen.

The Tohono Oodham Police Department (TOPD) responded to a two-vehicle collision on State Route 86 on the Tohono Oodham reservation.

After conducting an investigation, TOPD officers and detectives discovered that Betters was driving a car that had sideswiped an approaching truck, leaving the road and crashing with a tree.

There were two occupants in Betters vehicle, both undocumented non-citizens illegally present in the United States. One died on-scene after the crash.

According to the court, Betters was transporting the individuals for financial gain while severely intoxicated, leading to a two-car crash. Investigators said they discovered she falsely believed she was being followed by Border Patrol, and increasing her speed as a result.

This incident also violated the terms of her supervised release for a previous conviction for the same offense. Betters pleaded guilty on Oct. 17, 2022.