DPS seizes 3,570 pounds of pot in January

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

Several traffic stops by Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers along with the efforts of DPS criminal investigators resulted in the seizure of 3,570 pounds of marijuana during the month of January.The current street value of the seized marijuana is estimated to be $1,963,500.DPS also seized 23 vehicles in January during counternarcotics and other law enforcement operations, including a 2008 Hummer H2 model.

One of the largest marijuana seizures made by DPS during a single traffic stop during the month occurred Jan. 7 when a DPS officer stopped a white 2004 Chevrolet pick-up truck for a moving violation on Interstate 10 westbound near Casa Grande.Upon approaching the truck, the officer became overwhelmed with the odor of marijuana and could see one of the bales of marijuana which was partially covered by a blanket in the extra cab portion of the truck.A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed 26 bundles of marijuana which combined to weigh over 510 pounds.A Ford F-150 pick-up truck that was seen traveling with the Chevrolet was also stopped.A subsequent investigation revealed the driver of the Ford was an escort for the drug load.Both drivers were arrested and both trucks, along with the marijuana, were seized.

"This single traffic stop provides a snapshot of what law in enforcement in Arizona is facing in the ongoing battle against drug cartels doing business in our State.Thanks to the professionalism of these DPS officers, our communities are a bit safer today," said Roger Vanderpool, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.