On April 29 just after 2 a.m., a Pinal County deputy on routine patrol stopped a vehicle containing approximately 255 pounds of marijuana on SR 347, east of Stanfield. The driver, Manuel A. Breton, a 20-year-old Tolleson, Ariz. resident, was arrested for Possession/Transport of Marijuana, a Class 2 Felony.
A passenger in the vehicle, identified as 37-year-old Cleotilde Lopez, a Mexican national, was detained and turned over to US Border Patrol.
A uniformed Pinal County deputy on patrol observed a 1999 Isuzu Trooper driving north on SR 347 east of Stanfield. The deputy drove alongside the vehicle and saw what appeared to be cellophane-wrapped bales of marijuana in the back seat. The deputy stopped the vehicle and confirmed that the 13 bundlesin the back seat were marijuana and arrested Brenton.
He later admitted during questioning that he was paid by an unidentified person to transport the marijuana to a location along Interstate 10.
In the second incident, also on April 29, at around 7 a.m., a PSCO air unit was called to assist the US Border Patrol in locating an all-terrain vehicle reportedly carrying a large load of marijuana in the Vekol Valley area of western Pinal County.
The vehicle, a Honda all-terrain vehicle, was located by the PSCO air unit in a remote desert location, under a tree, with 414 pounds of marijuana strapped on the back of it. No persons were located at or nearby the vehicle.
The marijuana and vehicle were seized.
Sheriff Paul Babeu said, “Every day, hundreds of pounds of marijuana are transported through Pinal County, from the border to cities and towns across the nation. As well-trained as our deputies are at finding and seizing these loads of marijuana, we can only get a small portion of the drugs coming in from Mexico. The only viable solution to the problem is to secure the border and keep the smugglers incarcerated.”