Deputies arrest 5 drug traffickers south of Maricopa

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Pinal County Deputies arrested five men less than 20 miles south of Maricopa for the alleged smuggling of drugs.

The arrest came on Sunday when deputies attempted to stop a 1999 Ford F-250 on Highway 84 and Green Road for speeding.

The driver of the vehicle failed to comply and led deputies on a chase in excess of 100 mph.

Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle using strip spikes, but the driver avoided the device and took the chase off-road.

As the vehicle sped through the desert, a man who was in the bed of the vehicle was ejected when the truck hit a bump. The man attempted to escape on foot, but deputies were able to capture him.

In the meantime, the driver of the truck navigated the vehicle back onto Highway 84, where deputies were able to successfully deflate the right front tire using spike strips and perform a “high-risk stop.”

The driver, 34-year-old Casa Grande resident Victor Estrada, was taken into custody, along with three passengers. Deputies found 158 pounds of marijuana in the back bed of the truck.

Estrada was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center for felony flight, possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana. Court records show Estrada previously served prison time.

The four passengers, including the one who was ejected, were booked for possession of marijuana for sale and transportation of marijuana.

They are identified as Juan Baradas Garcia Valades, 39, of Florence; Marcos Antonio Espinoza Lopez, 35, of Mexico; Carlos Lugo Garcia,19, of Mexico; and Jesus Guillero Avila,26, of Mexico.