185 Lbs. of marijuana wrapped as Christmas presents

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The following is a press release from the Dept. of Public Safety:

Several traffic stops by Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers along with the efforts of detectives assigned to the DPS Criminal Investigations Division resulted in the seizure of 8,071 pounds of marijuana during the month of December.

The current street value of that much marijuana is about $4.8 million.

One of the most unique marijuana seizures made by DPS in December occurred Dec. 26 after a DPS officer stopped a northbound vehicle for a traffic violation on Interstate 19 south of Tucson.

The vehicle was occupied by a male driver and female passenger. Inside of their vehicle, concealed neatly in wrapping paper, were not toys but bundles of marijuana totaling 185 pounds.

Both occupants were arrested and the vehicle and marijuana was seized.

Arrested: Ruben Ruiz 29 Nogales, Arizona

Darlene Lopez 19 Nogales, Arizona

"This one traffic stop provides a snapshot of what law in enforcement in Arizona is facing in the ongoing battle against violent drug cartels doing business in the state. Thanks to the professionalism of these DPS officers, these arrests will help our criminal investigators follow a trail that will hopefully lead to more arrests in the effort to keep our communities safe," said Roger Vanderpool, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.