2 Illegal immigrants arrested after high-speed chase

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. -- Two illegal immigrants were arrested Tuesday after allegedly leading a Pinal County Sheriff's deputy on a high-speed chase in Southern Arizona.

About 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, a deputy in an area northwest of Casa Grande saw a Chevrolet Tahoe driving at a high speed, the sheriff's office said.

According to the sheriff's office, the vehicle ran a stop sign as it turned south from Miller Road onto Anderson Road.

The driver allegedly failed to stop for the deputy and a pursuit was initiated. The Tahoe reportedly accelerated to 100 mph.

The pursuit continued along Highway 84 and southbound on Montgomery Road, where another deputy set up spike strips.

The Tahoe ran over the strips, and its right rear tire and front left tire were deflated when it reached Interstate 8, the sheriff's office said.

The vehicle then reportedly crossed the center medium and two eastbound lanes of traffic, and drove through a fence. It continued south through a dirt field, where it came to a stop, the sheriff's office said.

The driver and passenger doors opened and two men ran from the vehicle in a southeast direction, the sheriff's office said.

The driver, Jesus Lozano-Vicarra, 35, of Mexico, reportedly stopped running as a deputy approached him. He was taken into custody.

The passenger, Gustavo Ramirez-Zavala, 24, of Mexico, was found hiding underneath a mesquite tree, the sheriff's office said. He allegedly resisted the arrest and was Tased by the deputy.

The sheriff's office said Lozano-Vicarra admitted to driving the vehicle, and said he fled from the deputy because he did not want to be deported to Mexico again.

The man reportedly told the sheriff's office he had been in the United States illegally for more than a month, paying his way across the border by backpacking marijuana from Mexico. The sheriff's office said Lozano-Vicarra admitted to smuggling marijuana to enter the country in the past.

He was booked into Pinal County Jail on suspicion of felony flight.

The sheriff's office said Gustavo also admitted to being in the U.S. illegally and was turned over to Border Patrol.

The Tahoe was seized, and the sheriff's office said it would request forfeiture.