Several people were arrested and nearly $100,000 in pot was seized near Maricopa Sunday morning after a suspect tried to ram into a patrol car, according to the Department of Public Safety.
Police said a DPS officer noticed the driver of a Cadillac Escalade speeding on State Route 347 near Maricopa. Before the officer could turn on the lights in his patrol car, "He looked in his rearview mirror and saw a vehicle behind him trying to ram him," said DPS spokesperson Bart Graves.
Three vehicles total were involved, the Escalade and two other Nissan pickup trucks, carrying nine people, according to DPS.
Police said the two Nissan trucks were there to distract police from the drugs in the Cadillac.
"The heat vehicle is trying to do something to distract the officer from going after what we call the load vehicle," said Graves, "This is unusual to try to run our patrol vehicle off the road at a high rate of speed."
Nearly $100,000 in marijuana was seized from the Escalade.
Graves said, "347 is become one of the options for drug smugglers to try to get their load up to the Valley."
Border Patrol and the Chandler Police Department were called for backup.
The driver of the truck who tried to ram the officer stopped and six people armed with guns ran into the desert, according to police. Five of them were arrested. The driver is on the loose and armed with a handgun. Border Patrol agents are searching for that suspect.
The two other vehicles escaped, but were later stopped on a freeway in Phoenix and the occupants were arrested.
Police said the vehicles used were not stolen and that those involved are suspected undocumented immigrants.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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