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Sheriff's Office

Traffic Stop Nets Three Drug Smugglers
 
Posted: 5/28/2013 12:00 AM
 
PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - On May 20th, 2013, at 5:30 p.m., a Pinal County Sheriff’s Office deputy patrolling along I-8 observed a Chevy Trailblazer traveling at a high rate of speed. The SUV exited the Interstate at north Trekell Road and failed to make a complete stop at the stop sign.

 
 
Top-L: Juan Lopez
Top-R: Cristian Oropeza
Bottom-R: Adolfo Hernandez
The deputy initiated a traffic stop based on the violations he had observed when the driver of the SUV attempted to flee at a high rate of speed. A short pursuit ensued down Trekell Road and as the vehicle neared Pete Road, the three suspects inside the SUV bailed from the vehicle and attempted to escape into the desert.

All three suspects were quickly detained and arrested by responding Pinal County Sheriff’s deputies. As deputies secured the vehicle to make sure there were no additional suspects inside, they located 42 bundles of marijuana. The bundles totaled more than 850 pounds with an estimated street value of nearly $600,000.

The driver of the vehicle is 19-year-old, Cristian Oropeza. He and his two passengers, Juan Lopez, 27-years-old, and Adolfo Hernandez, 22-years-old, were all booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center on charges of Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Marijuana for Sale. They have all been placed on Border Patrol holds as they are suspected of being in the country illegally.

Sheriff Paul Babeu said “Local law enforcement agencies continue to see the effects of an unsecured border and investigate criminals from Mexico who are involved with drug and human smuggling. As Congress discusses immigration reform in Washington without any real plan to secure the border, Pinal County families are forced to live with real threats. During rush hour traffic on a major roadway these three men ran from deputies placing countless people in danger with no regards for their actions.”
Public Information Officer

Jim Knupp
520.483.4502
pcsopio@pinalcountyaz.gov



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