K9 officer helps capture human smuggling suspect in Pinal County

Posted: Updated:
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

VEKOL VALLEY, Ariz. – A man was arrested on suspicion of human smuggling with the help of a Pinal County K9 officer.

A Pinal County sheriff’s deputy was patrolling the area near Interstate 8 on Monday at about 9:30 p.m. when he tried to conduct a traffic stop on a 1992 Chevy Suburban.

The driver fled when he saw the emergency lights on the patrol car and attempted to flee from the deputy at a high rate of speed.

The driver lost control of the SUV on a dirt shoulder and fled into the desert on foot. The deputy deployed his K9 officer after the suspect was told repeatedly to stop.

The suspect was detained by the K9 officer until deputies could take him into custody. He has been identified as 30-year-old Luis Antonio Zavala Ayon, from Mexico.

Ayon told deputies he was on his way to pick up a group of illegal immigrants but decided to leave the area due to the heavy police presence.

The suspect also told officers there were other individuals in the SUV when he fled although a search was conducted of the area and no other individuals were found.

Ayon was booked at the Pinal County Detention Center where he faces one count of unlawful flight, failure to comply with a law enforcement officer and human smuggling.