On Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 11:10 p.m. a Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Canine Handler stopped a 2004 Ford F-150 on Toltec Road north of I-10 after he observed the vehicle commit several traffic violations.
The driver of the vehicle was Matias Lopez (age 43 of Eloy) and the passenger was Javier Rios (age 18 of Mexico).
While speaking with the driver and passenger, the deputy could see in plain view three bundles of what appeared to be marijuana. The bundles still had the backpacking straps attached to them. In the bed of the truck, the deputy could see a fourth backpack bundle.
The deputy could also smell a strong odor of the marijuana as well. A check of the bundles confirmed in fact they contained package marijuana. The marijuana weighed 205 pounds with a street value of $153,750.
Lopez and Rios were arrested for one count each of Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana for Sale. Both were booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center for these charges. Additionally an immigration hold was placed on Rios as he admitted he is in the United States illegally.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “Secretary Janet Napolitano is responsible for America’s security and last year she told Arizona law enforcement leaders the U.S. and Mexico border will never be secured. As a result of this failure, the continuous flow of humans and drugs continue to enter America. The volume of drugs coming through is increasing in Pinal County despite what she says. Last year alone, we seized 94,411 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $70,808,250. Additionally weapons are flowing across the border as a result of the Department of Justice providing them through the failed program known as Operation Fast and Furious to the very cartels law enforcement are fighting against.”