PHOENIX -- Maricopa County sheriff's deputies arrested four suspected illegal immigrants and a U.S. citizen after finding 160 pounds of marijuana stowed in a car.
Deputies located the illegal immigrants as they were making their way through the remote southeastern portion of the county in a Nissan sedan, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.
In addition, a U.S. citizen was taken into custody on charges of human smuggling and drug possession.
During the investigation, sheriff's detectives determined all four illegal immigrants paid between $2,000 and $6,000 each to be transported into the United States. All claimed to be from Mexico and crossed the border near the town of Sonorita.
"This is another arrest which underscores the connection between drug trafficking and illegal immigration," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.
Arpaio said last year alone, his deputies seized approximately 15 tons of marijuana and arrested more than 200 illegal immigrants in connection to human-smuggling operations.