Pinal County Sheriff’s Deputies stopped two vehicles near Stanfield at 10:30 p.m., on March 2, arrested five persons for smuggling drugs and seized 170 pounds of marijuana from one of the vehicles.
Sheriff Paul Babeu said, “A deputy saw two vehicles travelling together at a high rate of speed on Highway 84 northbound from Interstate 8. The first vehicle was stopped on Clayton Road at Amarillo Valley Road. When the car stopped, one person fled into the desert. The driver stayed with the car which was found to contain four bales of marijuana. The driver of the first car stopped was identified as Omar Garabay-Lara, a 24-year-old resident of Maricopa.”
The second vehicle was stopped nearby on Clayton Road by a second deputy. Four persons in that car were detained without incident. The driver of the second vehicle was identified as Jesus Jimenez, an 18-year-old Tempe resident. The other three occupants of the vehicle were identified as Mexican nationals who admitted to illegally crossing the U.S./Mexico Border 10 days prior.
Sheriff Babeu commented on drug trafficking in Pinal County, saying “On the heels of the US Border Patrol announcing they are reducing the number of Border Patrol Agents working to secure the border, we see evidence, every day right here in Pinal County, that they should be increasing their efforts to stop drug smuggling at the border, not reducing their resources.”
All five suspects are being held in the Pinal County Jail awaiting charges for Drug Smuggling and related charges.