100-mph pursuit leads to human smuggling arrests in Pinal Co.

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Two people were arrested and 18 others escaped after authorities pursued a suspected human smuggling vehicle at speeds of more than 100 mph.

A Pinal County Sheriff's Office patrol deputy observed a vehicle weaving outside of the lane several times around 5:30 a.m. Thursday.

When the deputy turned on his emergency lights on Interstate 10 near mile marker 198, the truck sped up and continued westbound on I-10 until it was near the exit at McCartney Road, PCSO said. 

The vehicle drove through a fence and continued driving in a northeasterly direction through the desert at a high rate of speed, sheriff's officials said. 

Authorities found the truck abandoned in the desert area near Woodruff and Cox roads.

Members of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Casa Grande Police Department, the U.S. Border Patrol and PCSO Air Unit responded to help out in the search.

Two people appeared and were taken into custody. They told deputies they were part of a group of 20 people. The pair said the group was from Mexico and had crossed into the U.S. illegally.

They were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol for deportation. The rest of the group was never found.

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