482 pounds of marijuana seized in bust at pot stash house

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Officials say 482 pounds of marijuana was seized Wednesday after a bust at a pot stash house.

The pot was hidden in the back of a truck under several blankets.

Five people were also arrested in the raid.

The house is located near Grand and 37th avenues in Phoenix.

The seizure and arrests were part of a long-term investigation conducted by PCSO’s Anti-Smuggling Unit in conjunction with Operation Stone Garden.

During the 14-month investigation, PCSO and Border Patrol agents investigated a drug trafficking organization that has been smuggling marijuana from Mexico.

The group used scouts that occupied mountaintops to help backpackers navigate through the desert to avoid law enforcement. The backpackers would arrive at predetermined locations along the I-8 and I-10 corridor. Once the group was picked up, the drugs would be taken to various homes in Phoenix then distributed across the country.

Over several months, detectives confiscated multiple weapons, more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana and several vehicles.

Leonidas Nieblas Leyva, Salome Gil, Luis Luna, Hector Cruz Rojo, and Casear Perez were arrested.

Some of the individuals arrested today were wearing "carpet shoes," which are used to cover their tracks as they make their way through the desert.

They are facing charges of Conspiracy, Transporting Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana, Possession for the Sale of Marijuana, Facilitation, Participating and Assisting a Criminal Syndicate, Possession of Marijuana in a Drug-Free School Zone, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

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