(Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) Marijuana weighing 270 pounds was discovered in the vehicle.
(Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) Mario Cazares-Cazares
(Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) Francisco Ortego-Pinto
(Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) Obeth Aldaco-Pinuelos
FLORENCE, AZ (CBS5) -
Three undocumented immigrants were booked into jail on marijuana charges following a Pinal County pursuit on Monday, sheriff's deputies said.
A deputy tracked down a car matching the description of one phoned in by a concerned citizen traveling east on Interstate 8 near Casa Grande. Deputies said the vehicle was traveling at 85 mph in a 75 mph zone. The vehicle's registration and license check showed the owner did not have a valid driver's license, PCSO said.
The deputy initiated a traffic stop near I-8 and Interstate 10. The driver pulled the vehicle to the right shoulder of the roadway and stopped. As the deputy began to approach the vehicle on foot, the vehicle sped away, then stopped about 200 yards down the shoulder.
Three Hispanic men ran from the vehicle in a northeasterly direction through the desert, PCSO said. The deputy radioed the suspect's descriptions and chased after the driver. The driver was taken into custody after he had run several hundred yards. The two passengers were located by other deputies who responded to assist.
Inside of the vehicle, deputies said they discovered 10 packaged bundles of marijuana. The marijuana weighed a total of 270.30 pounds with a street value of $202,725.
The three suspects were identified as the driver, Mario A. Cazares-Cazares, 43; Francisco G. Ortega-Pinto, 23; and Obeth R. Aldaco-Pinuelos, 19. It was later determined Aldaco-Pinuelos had given an original date of birth to deputies which would have made him a juvenile, sheriff's investigators said. With the help of the U.S. Border Patrol, he was identified as an adult who had been detained and deported five prior times by the U.S. Border Patrol during the past two years.
All three suspects admitted to being in the United States illegally. The men were booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Facility on charges of possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana. The vehicle was seized and paperwork will be submitted requesting it be forfeited, PCSO said.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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