COOLIDGE, Ariz. -- A man deported on five previous occasions was arrested Friday after allegedly assaulting a Pinal County sheriff's deputy during what should have been a routine traffic stop in Coolidge.
According to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Jorge Luis Morales-Espinoza, 37, was a passenger in a 2000 Ford truck that was stopped by a deputy at the intersection of SR 287 and Arizona Boulevard.
The woman behind the wheel, Deyanira Cordero, had an Arizona identification card but not a driver license.
In the course of the stop, the deputy learned that Espinoza was wanted on a federal warrant for a probation violation stemming from his illegal entry into the country.
When deputies attempted to take Espinoza into custody, things turned violent.
"Espinoza resisted arrest and fought with the deputies in an attempt to get away," PCSO spokesman Tim Gaffney wrote in a news release sent out Tuesday morning.. "He was taken to the ground and placed into custody."
One of the deputies injured his hand in the struggle.
Gaffney said Espinoza's booking photo connected him to several other warrants under an alias.
Cordero, 36, was arrested, as well.
According to Gaffney, she admitted knowing that Espinoza had been deported on more than one occasion and was not supposed to be in the U.S.
When Cordero's brother arrived on the scene, deputies learned that she, too, had come here illegally.
"ICE was contacted and confirmed both Cordero and Espinoza were both illegally in the United States," Gaffney said.
According to Gaffney, records show that Espinoza has been deported five times since 2005, most recently in December. He was federally prosecuted that time. In addition, he has a record of arrests and convictions in Arizona for extreme DUI and aggravated assault on an officer.
In addition to being booked in connection with several outstanding warrants, Espinoza also faces new charges of aggravated assault on an officer and resisting arrest.
Cordero was booked on a charge of "hindering prosecution by harboring a wanted felon."
Gaffney did not say what prompted the initial traffic stop.
With these two arrests, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu reiterated his position on border security and this country's immigration policy.
“Our elected officials should not be considering ways to give citizenship to those who entered the U.S. illegally until our border is truly secure," he said. "While the U.S. Border Patrol and law enforcement agencies do the best they can, unfortunately this administration does not take border security seriously but as they say - what difference at this point does it make.”