88 pounds of marijuana seized

Jorge Gonzalez is accused of trying to smuggle marijuana. PCSO photos

Pinal County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man near Stanfield Wednesday morning on charges of smuggling roughly 88 pounds of marijuana.

Jorge Gonzalez, 32, was arrested around 6:30 a.m. on a stretch of Highway 84 between State Route 347 and Interstate 8 after deputies attempted to stop the vehicle he was in for moving violations.

PCSO spokesperson Navideh Forgahni said deputies attempted to stop the green Ford pick-up truck after it was spotted speeding and rolling through a stop sign in the area.

As the truck pulled over, Forgahni said, six passengers, including the driver, fled into the desert.

Deputies found Gonzalez hiding under a large sheet of plywood in the bed of the truck alongside several bails of marijuana.

Customs and Border Patrol later found and arrested two of the six individuals who fled, Forgahni said.

CBP did not immediately provide the identities of those arrested.

All who fled were wearing camouflage, she said, “which is an indication of human and drug smuggling.”

Earlier this month PCSO recovered 150 pounds of marijuana in a similar traffic stop where five individuals immediately fled from the scene.

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb addressed the issue in a video uploaded to social media Dec. 21, saying how, as a result of the cooler weather, this kind of crime seems to be on the rise.



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