A traffic stop last week ended with the seizure of 495 pounds of marijuana and an arrest of a drug smuggler, according to a news release from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.
On May 25 a deputy observed a red SUV make an abrupt turn off off of Papago Road onto a dirt farm road. The SUV sped away from the deputy's marked patrol car.
The deputy followed the SUV and observed it driving in circles at dangerous speeds between the fields where workers were present. The SUV ended up back onto Papago Road and fled north on Amarillo Valley and west onto Teel Road.
The SUV was then abandoned on Ralston Road and an unknown member of occupants fled the SUV into nearby farm fields.
Sheriff Paul Babeu says the deputy found the SUV abandoned with 22 bales of marijuana inside that weighed 495 pounds.
As the deputy was looking for the suspects, he contacted a group of farm workers near where the SUV was abandoned. The deputy was able to identify a person who had run into the group to conceal his involvement in the incident.
The smuggler was easily identified as fleeing from the vehicle by the work crews who witnessed the incident.
The smuggler also had a two-way working radio on his person when he was arrested. The deputy heard what he believed to be other smugglers and scouts communicating in Spanish on the the radio.
The radio and the 22 bales of marijuana were impounded a evidence.
The smuggler has been identified as 19-year-old Aldo Aleman of Stanfield, Ariz.
He is currently being held in Pinal County Jail and is awaiting charges for Drug Smuggling and Possession of Drugs for Sale.