Map: People running through neighborhood
MARICOPA, Ariz. -- The Pinal County Sheriff's Office arrested five men after getting calls from residents reporting that 10 to 30 people were knocking on doors and either asking for food and water or running through their neighborhood.
The individuals were suspected of being in the country illegally.
Deputies responded to the area of Jennifer and Ralston roads outside the city limits of Maricopa at about 9 a.m. They located five of the individuals and one marijuana backpack. All of the others had run into the desert and were never located.
The five individuals admitted they were illegally in the United States, according to PCSO spokesman Tim Gaffney. They were arrested and transported to the sheriff's office where they were interviewed.
They all said they entered the country illegally through Sonora, Mexico, according to Gaffney.
Juan Sanchez, 23, of Oaxaca, Mexico, said he was with a group of 11 individuals who were chased by U.S. Border Patrol after they crossed the border one week prior. Several members of their group were caught. Sanchez was previously arrested for a DUI in California and was deported. He was planning to return once again to California, according to the sheriff's office.
Daniel Garcia Cruz, 20, Oaxaca, Mexico, said he came into the U.S. on Thursday with a group of 14 individuals. He said several members of his group were caught by U.S. Border Patrol on Saturday. He was planning to head to California.
Pedro Filimon Ramirez-Garcia, 24, of Oaxaca, Mexico, entered the country one week prior with a group of 11 individuals. He was planning to head to California.
Lorenzo Perez Santis, 30, of Chiapas, Mexico, was with eight others when he entered the United States 12 days before. He was planning to head to Tampa, Fla.
Carlos Antonio Grijalva, 36, of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, came to the U.S. by himself 15 days before. He told officials that while walking through the desert recently he found two bundles of marijuana and decided to carry them.
Two bundles of marijuana were found in the area he was arrested. The bundles weighed 37 pounds with a street value of $27,750.
Grijalva was booked into the Pinal County Jail for possession of marijuana for sale, transportation of marijuana and possession of marijuana. The other four individuals were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol.
"These illegals pass through western Pinal County on their way to California and Florida," Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a press release. "The Tucson Sector of our border is clearly the path of least resistance for hundreds of thousands of illegals who enter here with plans for just about anywhere in America. Only 123,000 were arrested in the Tucson Sector last year.
"These first hand reports by arrested illegals further prove that the vast majority of illegals are successful in entering the U.S. and immediately rewarded with generous social programs offered by the Obama administration," Babeu continued.