A known drug-smuggling corridor south of Maricopa yielded two arrests for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office when four large packages of marijuana were reportedly found in the back seat of a sedan.
Tawnya M. Othon, 43, of Phoenix was arrested on State Route 84 at Amarillo Valley Road on an array of drug charges when the sedan she was driving was pulled over at around 6 a.m. Initially a traffic stop, the event turned into a booking on citations of possession of marijuana for use, possession of marijuana for sale, transportation of marijuana and conspiracy. Othon has a $25,000 bond with a preliminary hearing set for Oct. 29.
Othon was not alone. At the same time, her passenger Mykel D. Dorsey, 32, of Phoenix was arrested on the same charges and was given the same bond and preliminary hearing date.
“The area where these smugglers were arrested is well known to my deputies as an area where drugs from Mexico are picked up and transported to the valley,” Sheriff Paul Babeu said. “Although the suspects did not say where the drugs came from, the packaging was consistent with baled marijuana we see from Mexico.”
The four bales of marijuana were wrapped in camouflaged cloth with crudely made cloth carrying straps. The total weight of the four bales was 171 pounds.
“We are finding that the Mexican drug cartels are recruiting drivers from within Arizona to carry the drugs, in smaller quantities, to destinations throughout the United States,” Babeu said. “The smugglers aren’t even trying to hide the drugs anymore. In this case, the smugglers threw the drugs into the back seat of the small sedan and off they went.”
Among PCSO arrests of Maricopans during the past week, Michael Patrick Largy, 47, of Maricopa was arrested Oct. 16 at the adult detention center on a charge of possession of dangerous drugs for sale.
Melissa Ann Joseph, 34, of Maricopa was arrested Oct. 16 in the 22000 block of Ellison Road on a charge of disorderly conduct.
James D. Huff, 42, of Maricopa was arrested Oct. 17 on Papago Road at Johnson Road on a charge of failure to appear.