PCSO traffic stop leads to marijuana seizure, 1 arrest

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

NEAR ELOY, Ariz. -- What started out as a traffic stop ended in a drug bust with one suspect arrested and a second on the loose.

It happened Monday night on Interstate 10 near Sunshine Boulevard outside of Eloy.

According to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, a K-9 deputy pulled over a Chevy sedan after witnessing a traffic violation.

When the Chevy stopped, one man got out of the driver's side and a second got out of the passenger's side. Both fled into the desert.

Another K-9 deputy found the driver, later identified as Fernando Villalobos-Castaneda, 25, of Glendale, trying to hide in the brush not far from his car. His passenger, however, got away.

When the K-9 deputy searched the Chevy, the deputy found 21 pounds of marijuana in a large trash bag the trunk. The street value of the drugs is about $15,750, according to PCSO spokesman Tim Gaffney.

Deputies booked Villalobos-Castaneda on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale, transportation of marijuana for sale and possession of marijuana.

"His vehicle was seized and we will request that it be forfeited," Gaffney said in a news release.