Attentiveness by a Pinal County Sheriff’s deputy turned into the discovery of 160 pounds of marijuana early Tuesday morning.

While patrolling an area 20 miles south of Maricopa, the deputy noticed a white cloth tied to a bush near interstate 8 and mile marker 157.

Sheriff’s department spokesman Tim Gaffney said the deputy recognized the cloth as a marker drug smugglers commonly use to alert pick-up vehicles, so he left his vehicle to investigate.

The deputy’s suspicions were confirmed when he found four large bundles of marijuana and fresh footprints in the roadside brush.

While climbing out of the ditch where the marijuana was located, the deputy noticed two Hispanic males in the distance and called for back up, according to Gaffney.

The deputy then began to track the two suspects, eventually capturing one, who admitted to being in the country illegally, but said he had no knowledge of the marijuana.

The suspect was handed over to U.S. Border Patrol.

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