County Home  |  Online Services  |  Visitors  |  Jobs  |  Government  |  Economic Development
    
Sheriff's Office
Can't find something? Tell us!

Drug Cartels Increase Trafficking Activity Before the Holidays 3 Pursuits and 14 Others in Custody on Five Other Separate Cases in 24 Hours
 
Posted: 12/24/2013 12:00 AM
 
On Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 1:54 p.m. a Pinal County Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to stop a Ford Expedition on Johnson Road near West Mayer Road after he observed the driver of the vehicle commit several traffic violations. The vehicle failed to stop and a pursuit was initiated. The vehicle traveled at a high rate of speed and failed to stop for several stop signs. The vehicle eventually went southbound on Powerline Road towards Vekol Valley. The vehicle drove into a large dip in the roadway and became stuck. The Hispanic male driver and passenger ran on foot into the desert in a southeasterly direction.

Inside of the vehicle, the deputy observed several packaged bundles of marijuana which weighed 404 pounds with a street value of $303,000. Deputies searched for four hours but were not able to locate the driver and passenger. The vehicle and marijuana were seized.

On Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 7:27 p.m. members of the U.S. Border Patrol and deputies were involved with a pursuit of a Chevy Tahoe which failed to stop for a traffic stop. The vehicle eventually drove into the desert near Interstate-8 and Thornton Road. Between 10 to 15 Hispanic males ran into the desert. The area was searched for the suspects but deputies had to leave to assist with the below listed pursuit. The vehicle was seized.

On Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 8:19 p.m. a Pinal County Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to stop a Saab passenger car in the area of Highway 84 and Midway Road after he observed the driver of the vehicle commit several traffic violations. The vehicle failed to stop and a pursuit was initiated. The driver drove the vehicle at speeds in excess of 100 mph while trying to get away. In desperation, the passenger in the vehicle began to toss packaged bundles of marijuana out of the vehicle. The vehicle then drove into the desert and stopped. The Hispanic male driver and passenger ran into the desert.

Deputies collected the marijuana thrown out of the vehicle and also discovered additional packaged bundles inside of the vehicle in the backseat and trunk. The marijuana weighed 282.5 pounds with a street value of $211.875.

On Wednesday December 18th and Thursday, 19th, 2013, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office - Anti-Smuggling Unit and our Narcotic Task Force worked with the West Dessert Task Force.

Over 1,363 pounds of marijuana was seized during five separate investigations. The marijuana has a street value of $1,022,250. A total of 14 suspects were arrested.

All 14 suspects were booked into the Pinal County Jail. The majority of the suspects were backpacking loads of marijuana from Mexico into the United States.

Daniel Medrano-Vasquez (age 35 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana. He is already a convicted felon in the United States from a prior criminal offense. He has been deported out of the United States already on prior occasions.

Martin Alejandro Velasco-Sandoval (age 18 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana..

Roberto Israel Sanchez (age 37 of Tucson) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.. He has two prior Failure to Appears for prior criminal charges. He also had a warrant out for his arrest for Driving on a Suspended License.

Bernardo Arturo Bejarhno-Portillo (age 36 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana. He also had an outstanding warrant out of the Maricopa County Superior, for Failure to Appear on a prior felony case. He has been arrested two previous times for felony drug offenses and has been deported out of the United States three prior times.

Rosario de Jesus Pacheco-Ramirez (age 19 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.

Gustavo Ruvias-Gutierrez (age 44 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana. He has been arrested in the United States previously for Auto Theft and Possession of Stolen Property. He has been previously deported from the U.S. on several prior occasions.

Vacilio Alvarez-Dortez (age 22 of Mexico) - Possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana.

Armando Campas-Ozuna (age 22 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.

Luis Villasuza-Talazoh (age 26 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.

Rodrigo Jara-Corral (age 48 of Mexico) -Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.

Jorge Beltran-Alcante (age 44 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.

Rude Rene Romero (age 34 of Tucson) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana. He has an outstanding warrant also for Driving on a Suspended License.

Marikzu Somoza-Montano (age 22 of Tucson) – She complained of medical issues and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Charges will be filed through the Pinal County Attorney’s Office request she be charged with Possession ofMarijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana. No photo available.

Humberto Rodriguez-Perez (age 41 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana

Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “These eight cases all tied to drug and human smuggling occurred within a 24 hour time frame 70 miles north of the Mexican border. Newsflash...the border in not more secure than ever. The Senate Gang of 8 and President Obama need to wake up to this reality and put America first, rather than green cards and amnesty for 12 to 20 million illegals.”

The West Desert Task Force is a joint initiative between U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department to combat narcotics trafficking in the West Desert region of Arizona. The task force is sponsored by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and works in association with the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats (ACTT).
Public Information Officer

Tim Gaffney
520.705.8124
pcsopio@pinalcountyaz.gov



Other Stories
 
PCSO K-9 Deputy Seizes Drugs, Money and Weapon During a Traffic Stop
On Monday, April 14th, 2014 at 4:50 p.m. a Pinal County Sheriff’s K-9 deputy was traveling eastbound on Interstate-10 near mile post 192 outside of the Casa Grande city limits. The deputy conducted a traffic stop on a Saturn Ion passenger car after
......................................................
PCSO Arrests San Tan Valley Man for Strangulation of his Girlfriend During A Domestic Violence Dispute

......................................................
Lieutenant John Ellsworth Retires from Law Enforcement After 41 years of Service
On Friday, April 11th, 2014 Lieutenant John Ellsworth retired from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office after working over 41 years in Public Safety/Law
......................................................
1 - 3 Next