Traffic stop on I-10 yield 320 pounds of pot

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TUCSON - The following is a press release from the Department of Public Safety:

On December 3, 2008 at about 7:52 am a Department of Public Safety officer stopped a 2000 Ford Explorer at milepost 278 on westbound Interstate 10 (approximately 10 miles east of Tucson) for a traffic violation.As the officer approached the vehicle he could see bales of marijuana in the rear area of the Explorer.Sixteen bales of marijuana were seized, weighing a total of 320 pounds.The marijuana has a street value of approximately $176,000.

Damaris A. Garcia, 31, from Tucson, Ariz. was arrested and booked into the Pima County Jail on the charges of possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and transportation of marijuana for sale.A male subject who was the passenger in the vehicle fled on foot.During the search for the male subject Acacia Elementary School, Cienega High School, and Old Vail Middle School were placed on lock down as a precaution.The lock down lasted for approximately one hour.The male subject was not located at this time.The investigation is ongoing.There were no other passengers in the vehicle.

This enforcement action is part of the Arizona Department of Public Safety's continued effort to disrupt and dismantle the criminal organizations that grow of manufacture, transport, and sell illegal drugs, in order to make communities in Arizona and across the United States safer places to live.