PCSO cracks down on drug trafficking, arrests 14 in series of investigations, pursuits

PCSO cracks down on drug trafficking, arrests 14 in series of investigations, pursuits

Credit: Pinal County Sheriff's Office

PCSO cracks down on drug trafficking, arrests 14 in series of investigations, pursuits

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on December 24, 2013 at 7:37 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 30 at 1:43 PM

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. -- Cracking down on increased trafficking activity leading up to the holidays, deputies in Pinal County arrested 14 people in a series of separate cases over the course of 24 hours.

Three of those cases involved pursuits by patrol deputies. The other arrests came from five investigations conducted in partnership with the West Desert Task Force. All of this happened in the 24-hour period from Wednesday, Dec. 18 through Thursday, Dec. 19.

Tim Gaffney of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said most of the suspects, who range in age from 18 to 48, were caught carrying loads of marijuana into the U.S. from Mexico.

Investigators seized more than 1,300 pounds with a street value of more than $1 million.

“These eight cases all tied to drug and human smuggling occurred within a 24 hour time frame 70 miles north of the Mexican border," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a news release. "Newsflash ... the border in not more secure than ever. The Senate Gang of 8 and President Obama need to wake up to this reality and put America first, rather than green cards and amnesty for 12 to 20 million illegals.”

The West Desert Task Force is a joint initiative between U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department to combat narcotics trafficking in the West Desert region of Arizona. The task force is sponsored by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and works in association with the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats (ACTT).

The suspects

Daniel Medrano-Vasquez (age 35 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana. He is already a convicted felon in the United States from a prior criminal offense. He has been deported out of the United States already on prior occasions.

Martin Alejandro Velasco-Sandoval (age 18 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.

Roberto Israel Sanchez (age 37 of Tucson) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.. He has two prior Failure to Appears for prior criminal charges. He also had a warrant out for his arrest for Driving on a Suspended License.

Bernardo Arturo Bejarhno-Portillo (age 36 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana. He also had an outstanding warrant out of the Maricopa County Superior, for Failure to Appear on a prior felony case. He has been arrested two previous times for felony drug offenses and has been deported out of the United States three prior times.

Rosario de Jesus Pacheco-Ramirez (age 19 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.

Gustavo Ruvias-Gutierrez (age 44 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana. He has been arrested in the United States previously for Auto Theft and Possession of Stolen Property. He has been previously deported from the U.S. on several prior occasions.

Vacilio Alvarez-Dortez (age 22 of Mexico) - Possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana.

Armando Campas-Ozuna (age 22 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.

Luis Villasuza-Talazoh (age 26 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.

Rodrigo Jara-Corral (age 48 of Mexico) -Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.

Jorge Beltran-Alcante (age 44 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana.

Rude Rene Romero (age 34 of Tucson) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana. He has an outstanding warrant also for Driving on a Suspended License.

Marikzu Somoza-Montano (age 22 of Tucson) – She complained of medical issues and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Charges will be filed through the Pinal County Attorney’s Office request she be charged with Possession ofMarijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana. No photo available.

Humberto Rodriguez-Perez (age 41 of Mexico) - Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Transportation of Marijuana

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