Twelve bales of marijuana found during traffic stop

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The following is a press release from the Maricopa Police Department:

MARICOPA -- At about 9:00 am, on February 26, 2009, Maricopa Police Officer Ricky Alvarado was monitoring traffic on Maricopa/Casa Grande Hwy. when he observed a tan Infinity J30 coming north into Maricopa traveling at what appeared to be a high rate of speed. Officer Alvarado measured the vehicle speed using a hand held LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) and confirmed that vehicle was traveling over 55 mph in a 35 mph construction zone.

When Officer Alvarado attempted to stop the vehicle for the speeding violation the driver attempted to evade the Officer. The vehicle drove into a residential neighborhood a short distance away where the vehicle pulled over and a female driver and male passenger were detained.

During the traffic stop, Officer Alvarado observed what appeared to be a large amount of illegal drugs in the rear seat of the vehicle. Upon further inspection, twelve bales of marijuana were found in the vehicle at a total weight of 277 pounds, with an estimated street value of approximately $195,000 dollars. The vehicle and drugs were seized.

The female driver, Rochell Antone (32), and the male passenger, Juvencio Cruz-Diaz, (41), a Mexican national, were both placed under arrest and later booked into the Pinal County jail on multiple felony drug charges.

The experience and high level of training of Maricopa Police Officer's came into play in this incident which allowed the Department to remove a substantial amount of illegal drugs from Maricopa's streets and two drug smugglers from our community's roadways.