Sometimes marijuana possession and its vehicular trafficking are difficult to spot, but, on Sunday, a Pinal County Sheriff’s Department deputy noticed something strange about a pickup truck. That “something strange” turned out to be a false compartment loaded with marijuana.

Deputy Scott Strobel of the Canine Unit conducted a routine traffic stop on Chuichu Road at Peters Road near Casa Grande for no license plate light. While approaching the vehicle, a 1988 Ford Ranger truck, he observed the bed to be bowed up. The bottom of the bed was freshly painted with fresh bondo in the wheel wells. Smelling an overwhelming odor of marijuana, the deputy utilized his K-9, Narou, who alerted to the bed of the truck.

The truck’s false compartment held 60 marijuana bales displayed by (from left) Deputy Scott Strobel, Posse Member Lindley and K-9 Narou.

A subsequent search revealed a false compartment under the bed and in the sidewalls. The fake compartment yielded 60 bales or 70.4 pounds total of marijuana. One suspect, Duncan Estrella out of Gila Bend, is now in custody.

(Courtesy of Pinal County Sheriff’s Department)


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