22 arrested in two drug smuggling busts

22 arrested in two drug smuggling busts

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1/29 operation (left), 2/4 operation (right) 1/29 operation (left), 2/4 operation (right)
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GILA BEND, Ariz. -

In the past week, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies have arrested 22 people and seized 1,100 pounds of marijuana in two separate incidents.

On Jan. 29, deputies arrested one U.S. citizen and three illegal immigrants and confiscated 160 pounds of pot. Deputies learned the men each paid between $2,000 and $6,000 to be smuggled into the United States. They all admitted they were from Mexico and crossed the border at Sonoita.

On Feb. 4, deputies along with Border Patrol agents observed people loading bales of marijuana onto the bed of a pickup truck, in a desert area in southeastern Maricopa County.

The driver left the area and failed to yield to police lights. He stopped and fled to a nearby business. He was eventually taken into custody, and it was determined that he was a U.S. citizen. 17 suspected illegal immigrants were detained in the desert.

The illegal immigrants were charged with conspiracy to commit human smuggling, and five of them, including the U.S. citizen, were charged with drug trafficking additionally.

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