PHOENIX — A state grand jury indicted three males after they were apprehended near Gila Bend with methamphetamine and marijuana with a combined street values of about $1.7 million.
Yony Ontiveros-Torres, 48, Ruben Jimenez Espericueta, 46, both of Mexico, and 30-year-old Jose Jaime Garcia Lopez of Phoenix, were charged with conspiracy, illegally conducting an enterprise, transportation of a dangerous drug (methamphetamine), transportation of marijuana for sale over the statutory threshold, and two counts of theft of means of transportation.
Law enforcement officers working together on a task force were conducting desert drug interdiction operations near Gila Bend on Jan. 30, when detectives observed two pickup trucks attempting to circumvent the border checkpoint by driving through the open desert near Interstate 85, said a release from the Arizona Attorney Generals Office.
The vehicles, which were identified as stolen, were halted with stop sticks. Detectives apprehended Ontiveros-Torres, Jimenez Espericueta and Garcia Lopez. When detectives searched the trucks, they discovered 3,516 pounds of marijuana and 221.8 pounds of methamphetamine.
The street value of the methamphetamine seized is $332,700 and $1,406,000 for the marijuana.
The officers were part of the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats (ACTT), which comprised Maricopa County Sheriff’s detectives, Arizona Department of Public Safety officers, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.