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Sheriff's Office

PCSO ANTI-SMUGGLING UNIT HALTS DRUG TRAFFICKING GROUP'S EFFORTS
 
Posted: 2/20/2018 12:00 AM
 
On February 14th, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office seized approximately 482 pounds of Marijuana and took 5 adults into custody.

The seizure and arrests were part of a long term investigation conducted by PCSO’s Anti-Smuggling Unit in conjunction with Operation Stone Garden. Operation Stonegarden is a Department of Homeland Security program that grants funds to other law enforcement agencies to enhance and strengthen border security throughout the United States.

During the 14-month investigation, PCSO and Border Patrol agents investigated a drug trafficking organization that has been smuggling marijuana from Mexico. The group used scouts that occupied mountain tops to help backpackers navigate through the desert to avoid law enforcement. The backpackers would arrive at predetermined locations along the I-8 and I-10 corridor. Once the group was picked up, the drugs would be taken to various homes in Phoenix then distributed across the country.

Over several months, detectives seized six weapons, 2285 pounds of marijuana and seized 15 vehicles.

Leonidas Nieblas Leyva, Salome Gil, Luis Luna, Hector Cruz Rojo, and Casear Perez were arrested. All of the suspects were Some of the individuals arrested today were wearing carpet shoes, which are used to cover their tracks as they make their way through the desert. They are facing charges of Conspiracy, Transporting Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana, Possession for the Sale of Marijuana, Facilitation, Participating and Assisting a Criminal Syndicate, Possession of Marijuana in a Drug Free School Zone, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Public Information Officer

520-866-5208
[email protected]



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