On Monday, November 12th, 2012 a concerned citizen reported seeing what he believed to be marijuana loaded into a vehicle just south of Casa Grande. As deputies were on their way to the area, the citizen reported the vehicle along with two Hispanic males had left the area. Deputies spread out and watched the roadways and highways for the vehicle which was described as a red Buick sedan.
A short time later, a deputy located a vehicle matching the description traveling eastbound on Interstate-8. The vehicle was also observed speeding at 85 mph in the 75 mph zone. A check of the vehicles registration and later license status check of the registered owner showed the owner did not have a valid driver’s license.
A traffic stop was initiated on the vehicle near Interstate-8 and Interstate-10. The driver pulled the vehicle to the right shoulder of the roadway and stopped. As the deputy exited his vehicle and began to approach the vehicle, the vehicle accelerated rapidly away. The vehicle suddenly stopped approximately 200 yards down the shoulder and the doors of the vehicle opened.
Three Hispanic males ran from the vehicle in a northeasterly direction through the desert. The deputy broadcasted the suspect descriptions and chased after the driver. The driver was taken into custody after he had ran several hundred yards. The two passengers were located by other deputies who responded to assist.
Inside of the vehicle, deputies located 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 Mario A. Cazares-Cazares (driver, age 43 of Mexico
), Francisco G. Ortega-Pinto (front seat passenger, age 23 of Mexico
) and Obeth R. Aldaco-Pinuelos (rear seat passenger, age 19 of Mexico
) It was later determined Obeth had given an original date of birth to deputies which would have made him a juvenile. 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. All three suspects were booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Facility for Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana. All are being held on a “No Bond Status
.” The vehicle was seized and paperwork will be submitted requesting it be forfeited.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “Secretary Napolitano keeps telling the American people the border is more secure than ever; yet she tells Arizona law enforcement it will never be secured. Cases like this happen nearly every day in Pinal County and across our State. These constant assaults on our National Security show how easy it would be for a terrorist to enter our Country through our unsecured southern border