On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) was contacted by a citizen who reported witnessing suspicious activity concerning a black Ford passenger vehicle that had pulled to the side of the road in the Benson area. The citizen reported two men, wearing backpacks, ran out of the bushes and jumped into the backseat of the vehicle.
DPS officers in the Benson area were notified of this occurrence and responded to the area.
At about 9:45 a.m. a DPS officer in the Benson area observed a black Ford passenger vehicle matching the description of the vehicle involved in the suspicious activity. The officer saw four people inside the vehicle and that the back quarter window of the vehicle had been broken out. The officer conducted a traffic stop.
While speaking with the subjects the officer discovered the two males in the backseat were in this country illegally. United States Border Patrol agents responded and took the two males in custody.
Upon further investigation, the driver of the vehicle admitted that there was marijuana in the trunk of the vehicle. The Officer checked the trunk and discovered four bales, weighing just over 90 pounds, of packaged marijuana. The officer seized the marijuana, which, in this quantity, has a street value of $77,000.
The driver of the vehicle, Angel Sandoval, 20, from Avondale and passenger, Mark Nunez, 19, from Litchfield Park were arrested and booked into the Cochise County Jail on the charges of possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana for transportation and sale. Further charges are pending.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety values input and notification from concerned citizens reporting suspicious circumstances. These reports have the potential to be valuable in the apprehension of criminals. Together, DPS and concerned citizens work to maintain a safer Arizona.