2 facing charges after fleeing suspected stolen-vehicle stop


Maricopa police arrested two people Wednesday night after they fled during a suspected stolen-vehicle stop. 

According to police: 

The female driver, Cassandra L. Cleland, 34, was arrested on suspicion of theft of means of transportation, possession of narcotics, possession of dangerous drugs, tampering with evidence, possession of drug paraphernalia and trespassing. 

A male passenger, Oscar Cruz, 39, was arrested on suspicion of possession of burglary tools, trespassing, criminal nuisance and possession of narcotics. 

Cleland and Cruz were booked into Pinal County Jail.  

Charges against Jonathan C. Nebo, 46, another passenger, have been submitted for review on suspicion of possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released.  

At about 10:40 p.m., officers attempted a traffic stop on a reported stolen vehicle on West Jenna Lane in Homestead, when the three ran from the vehicle, split up and hid. 

Cleland was found hiding in a recycling dumpster in the backyard of a nearby residence. Cruz was found between the front fence and house at another home. Nebo was found at a nearby home. 

Officers found a black-and-white checkered bag inside the vehicle, which contained methamphetamine, fentanyl pills and a syringe with dark-colored contents. 

A black bag also was found inside the vehicle containing a registration belonging to Cruz, along with with two airbag-style door shims, a pair of pliers and an electric drill or grinder. 

A small baggie with 2.2 grams of methamphetamine was found inside the vehicle where Nebo had been sitting. Nebo had said the methamphetamine was not his but that he had used some two days prior. 

Cleland complained of illness and was transported to a hospital, where she later admitted to swallowing three fentanyl pills because she did not want to be charged with possessing them. 

Cruz also was hospitalized, due to an unknown illness. After being released, Cruz was found in possession of 20 fentanyl pills after he was caught trying to conceal them at the hospital. 

On Thursday, the owner of the home where Nebo was found hiding had discovered a “meth pipe.” The pipe had what appeared to be a usable quantity of unburned methamphetamine in it.